The government submitted a set of bills to parliament Tuesday to introduce a Pacific Rim free trade deal, with the aim of ratifying the pact and enacting the bills by the end of May.
Japan, the United States, Australia, Brunei, Canada and seven other countries signed the Trans-Pacific Partnership treaty last month following their agreement last October.
The 12 countries, also including Chile, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam, agreed to remove or lower tariffs and introduce unified international trade and investment rules under the deal that covers 40 percent of the global economy.
The Japanese government is required to remove tariffs on 95.1 percent of farm, industrial and other imported products in value terms under the pact, while it expects the free trade initiative to boost its real gross domestic product by 13.6 trillion yen ($112 billion) or 2.59 percent from fiscal 2014.
Deliberations on the bills are expected to start next month in the House of Representatives and further discussions are set to take place in the House of Councillors in May.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s ruling bloc is expected to face intense debate prior to the upper house election this summer with opposition parties claiming that Japan’s call for five key farm products including rice, beef and pork to be exempt from tariff elimination is not sufficiently reflected in the TPP agreement.
The government hopes to enact the bills ahead of the Group of Seven summit hosted by Japan in late May.
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