27 jan, 2013
Not many activities on TPP. But, it seems there are signs that the new Abe Administration is gradually and steadily preparing for reopening the prior consultation with the US and figure out if (or how) Japan joins the TPP negotiation. Agricultural Minister Hayashi said in a TV program on 25 Jan. that the administration would carefully take procedures and explain to the opposition group in the ruling party. Economic Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Motegi is forecasted to meet in Davos with US Trade Representative Kirk to discuss how to proceed with the prior consultation on TPP. Prime Minister Abe gave these directions, as voices to urge Japan’s participation were raised one after another at the strategic meeting of strengthening industrial competitiveness followed by the meeting of the headquarter for regenerating Japan’s economy. The economic and financial strategies of the new administration are set forth by the following lines. They are the economic and financial advisory body to draw up fundamental plans and the headquarter for regenerating Japan’s economy to draw up specific plans under which there are the meeting of strengthening industrial competitiveness controlling the deregulation reform meeting and the comprehensive science/technology meeting. (Remark: Names of above mentioned “meetings” are not official translations.)
＜ Clippings from The Nikkei Newspaper ＞
The government to re-calculate the official estimate of the effect of TPP before the election of the House of Councilors in summer. Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry said in a TV program. Government offices provided different calculations with different assumptions before.
２、 Jan.15 edition:
Cautious voices towards TPP spreading in the ruling LDP. Prevailing voices are that PM. Abe ought to consider that the announcement of Japan’s participation in TPP shouldn’t be made without enough explanations to voters because of the party’s election promise. Diplomacy and Economic Policy Research Council of LDP is to analyze points at issue and present options other than TPP before Mr. Abe’s visit to the US expected in Feb. And the major opposition group, “the conference to insist on an immediate withdrawal of participation in TPP” is expected to hold a big rally at the end of this month.
３、Jan.23 & 24 edition:
Members chosen from among industries urged Japan’s participation in TPP at the first round of the meeting of strengthening industrial competitiveness on 23 Jan. There are ten non-government members and eight of them are CEOs of major companies.
PM. Abe directed Cabinet members to accelerate discussion on economic partnerships at the first meeting of the headquarter for regenerating Japan’s economy on 25 Jan. Keeping the opinions in mind expressed at the meeting of strengthening industrial competitiveness on the previous day, PM. Abe instructed to find ways to promote economic partnerships with conditions to maximize national interest while avoiding non-exceptional tariff abolition.
５、 Jan.26 edition:
Following Mr. Abe’s direction, the Agricultural Minister made some comments. Mr. Hayashi said in a TV program on 25 Jan. that he would carefully explain to internal opposition group members and take procedures to make the final decision on TPP which the former administration failed of. Economic minister, Motegi will participate in the Davos conference and meet with US Trade Representative Kirk to discuss how to proceed with the prior consultation with the US.
＜ Anti-TPP activities update. ＞
To be reported next time.