Japan made its belated debut as the 12th member of the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade negotiations Tuesday in Malaysia after a four-month wait since announcing its intention to join the talks on creating one of the world’s largest free trade areas.
As the United States, the leading TPP economy, completed its domestic procedures to start talks with Tokyo, Japan was welcomed into the 18th round of talks, already under way since July 15, according to Japanese officials.
With only three days left in the latest round, being held in the Malaysian resort of Kota Kinabalu, Japan’s chief negotiator Koji Tsuruoka and his team will seek to fully use the time to negotiate the country’s interests.
“We will unite as one and do our best to realize the national interest,” said Tsuruoka as Japanese negotiators and lawmakers gathered in the morning.
“We aim to achieve results that will lead to the revival of the Japanese economy,” he added.
TPP negotiations comprise 21 working groups covering 29 chapters, including market access covering tariff elimination, which has been the key topic of interest for Japan.
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