Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said Tuesday that Japan has achieved the best possible outcomes from a 12-nation Pacific trade deal, but the government will create a task force to counteract negative impacts from further market liberalization, particularly on the sensitive farm sector.
Speaking at a news conference a day after the accord was struck, Abe said he would welcome China’s future participation in the U.S.-led Trans-Pacific Partnership initiative, saying it would be a plus for stability in Asia. He also said the accord would spur negotiations for a free trade agreement between Japan and the European Union.
Monday’s agreement “will make our lives richer,” and Japan has achieved the “best possible outcomes in line with the national interest” from the deal, Abe said.
At the same time, Abe said he would lead a task force to allay concern about the future of the agriculture sector. The task force would involve all Cabinet members, he said.
Japan has agreed to cut tariffs on such agricultural products as beef and pork while increasing an import quota for U.S. and Australian rice in the future.
The TPP, which would cover around 40 percent of global output, involves Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, the United States and Vietnam.