Akira Amari, Japan’s minister in charge of talks for the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade initiative, said Sunday that the 12 countries involved in the negotiations are aware they need to reach a broad agreement by the end of this year.
“We share the recognition that we will face a long-term risk if we fail to reach a broad agreement” for creating a massive free trade area bordering the Pacific, Amari told reporters in Nagoya.
The 12 TPP countries initially sought to strike a deal by the end of 2013 but missed that deadline due mainly to Japan-U.S. bickering.
Amari also said the member countries will determine a schedule for future talks after their chief negotiators gather in July.
Ministers of the 12 countries held a meeting in Singapore last Monday and Tuesday, but they fell short of setting a clear timeline for ending their long-running negotiations.