• Kyodo


The administration may delay its decision on joining talks for the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement for “several months” beyond its self-imposed deadline of around June, economic and fiscal policy minister Kaoru Yosano said Friday.

His comments on the multilateral free-trade agreement talks came as the Cabinet of Prime Minister Naoto Kan is expected to agree on a policy guideline as early as next week by reviewing the national economic growth strategy in such areas as trade, energy and the environment.

“There is impact from the earthquake disaster,” Yosano told reporters after a Cabinet meeting, referring to the need for the government to prioritize addressing the damage caused by the March 11 quake and tsunami.

Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Minister Michihiko Kano echoed Yosano’s view, saying at a separate news conference the disaster has caused “significant changes” in the economy and that the government must conduct a “new study.”

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