TPP deputy may stand in for Amari at talks

Kyodo

Japan is considering sending a deputy of the minister in charge of Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade talks to attend a crucial negotiating session this week because Akira Amari has been hospitalized for checkups, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said Wednesday.

Whether TPP minister Amari can attend the meeting in Singapore starting Sunday depends on the results of the medical exam, and the administration may end up sending Yasutoshi Nishimura, senior vice minister of the Cabinet Office, in his place, Suga said.

Amari entered a hospital Monday. The Cabinet Office declined to specify his condition, citing privacy.

Suga said Amari will remain in the hospital until Thursday.

It is believed the absence of Amari, one of the architects of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s economic growth strategy that focuses on boosting exports, could affect Japan’s position at the TPP talks.