The process of ratifying the broadly agreed Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade deal by 12 member countries could take months, with ratification by Japan and the United States not expected before the turn of the year.
Based on the political agreement reached in the ministerial meeting in Atlanta, the countries participating in the Pacific Rim trade accord will finalize the text of the treaty for formal signature.
In the United States, President Barack Obama has to give Congress 90 days’ notice of his intention to sign the trade accord. Once signed, the treaty will need to go through a legislative process for ratification and implementation.
In Japan, the signed treaty must be examined by both houses of parliament, and bills will be deliberated separately if the contents of the TPP require revisions to existing laws.
The government is considering holding an extra Diet session through early next year, according to people close to the administration.
A failure to complete the necessary legislative process during the extra Diet session could cause several months of delay.
The ordinary Diet session starting in January will focus on budget deliberations for the next fiscal year from April, relegating the TPP discussions to secondary importance.
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.
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