Business leaders in Japan have become increasingly frustrated by the lack of progress in the Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade talks involving 12 Pacific Rim countries after ministers ended their talks without an agreement in Singapore on Tuesday.
The leaders plan to continue their calls on the Japanese government to conclude the TPP talks, arguing no agreement would mean Japan cannot take advantage of potential growth in other parts of Asia through trade liberalization.
“We would be most troubled if the TPP talks continue drifting as they are,” said Akio Mimura, chairman of the Japan Chamber of Commerce and Industry. “I hope the participating countries will work hard to conclude the deal by conceding on what they should concede.”
Foreseeing the difficulty reaching an agreement at the latest ministerial talks, three major business lobbies, including Keidanren also known as the Japan Business Federation, submitted a request to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Feb. 10.
In the request, the business groups called on Abe to make a “political decision” in a bid to avoid pushing the negotiations to a dead end by sticking to Tokyo’s policy of not allowing tariff eliminations on rice and several other farm products dear to Japan’s agricultural sector.
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