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HOME  > Past issues  > 2013 March 13 - 19  > PM Abe wines and dines anti-TPP groups in ruling party
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2013 March 13 - 19 [ECONOMY]

PM Abe wines and dines anti-TPP groups in ruling party

March 13, 2013
Prime Minister Abe Shinzo, who is aiming to have Japan join the Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade pact, has been trying to win over anti-TPP groups within the ruling Liberal Democratic Party by entertaining them with food and drink.

On the evening of March 7, Abe took the leaders of opposition factions drinking at a Chinese restaurant in a hotel near the Diet building. The men with whom Abe ate and drank for over an hour and a half are: Moriyama Hiroshi, chair of the association against TPP, which is comprised of LDP Dietmembers; Eto Seishiro, head of the LDP diplomatic and economic partnership promotion headquarters; and Nishikawa Koya, chair of the TPP task force of the party.

Eto reportedly said to reporters after the drinking party, “I strongly felt that the prime minister is enthusiastic about protecting Japan’s agricultural sector and farming villages.”

In the general election this past December, 70% of the elected LDP representatives pledged to oppose Japan’s entry into the TPP negotiations.

In the election campaign, Eto insisted that he will firmly stop Japan from taking part in the free trade agreement aimed at eliminating all tariffs and nontariff barriers, and Nishikawa argued that Japan’s participation in the TPP talks will ruin Japanese society.
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