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TPP minister Amari is hospitalized

Kyodo

Akira Amari, minister in charge of the Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade negotiations, was hospitalized Monday morning for three to four days of tests, the Cabinet Office said.

Amari, who doubles as economic and fiscal policy minister, is slated to attend a four-day TPP ministerial meeting in Singapore from Saturday. But Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said it is now unclear whether he will join the gathering.

Officials declined comment on Amari’s condition, citing privacy.

Amari is also in charge of finalizing an economic stimulus package aimed at easing the negative impact of the sales tax hike next April. The government is planning to draw up the package Thursday.

The TPP ministerial meeting in Singapore is expected to be the last major opportunity for the 12 negotiating members to achieve the goal of securing a deal by year’s end.