Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Minister Koya Nishikawa on Tuesday requested the United States to make concessions at bilateral talks on an envisioned Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade agreement.
If economic cooperation progresses without causing pains to the agriculture, fishery and forestry industry, it would be better to conclude an agreement early, Nishikawa told a news conference.
“I hope the United States will take a step” toward a bilateral agreement, he said, requesting U.S. concessions on Japanese tariffs and import restrictions.
Each of the 12 member states that participate in TPP negotiations has its own sensitivities, Nishikawa said, stressing that Japan will stick to a Diet resolution calling on the government to maintain tariffs on key agricultural products.
Japan and the United States began bilateral working-level farm trade talks in Tokyo Tuesday. The top agenda item is the treatment of the key products, including rice and pork.
Separately, Japanese TPP minister Akira Amari said the United States is sounding out Japan on a possible bilateral ministerial meeting.
Tokyo and Washington will continue to urge their top TPP negotiators to narrow the gap between them to pave the way for the possible ministerial meeting, he added.Speech
via Japan News