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Amari to attend first two days of 19th TPP ministerial meeting in Brunei

Kyodo

Economic and fiscal policy minister Akira Amari said Thursday he will attend the ministerial meeting of the upcoming Brunei round of the Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations.

Amari, who doubles as the TPP minister, will attend the meeting on Aug. 22 and 23, the first two days of the 19th round of talks scheduled through Aug. 30.

It will be Japan’s first full round since joining the negotiation table at the tail end of the previous round in Malaysia last month, and Japan is keen to discuss key issues such as tariff eliminations on manufactured goods and farm products.

“As we joined late, the next round will be a crucial stage for us,” Amari said.

After more than three years of negotiations, TPP countries are aiming to conclude a deal by the end of the year.

Amari also said he will meet U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman, whom he calls the “key man” leading the TPP negotiations, when he visits Japan starting from Aug. 19.

“I would like to convey Japan’s general stance toward the negotiations that we do not intend to delay the schedule,” said Amari.

“We would like to make TPP an agreement that will benefit all 12 countries and become the new rules of the Asia-Pacific that will earn other countries’ respect,” he added.