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HOME  > Past issues  > 2020 November 11 - 17  > JCP Koike demands that gov't make public the details of RCEP talks
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2020 November 11 - 17 TOP3 [ECONOMY]

JCP Koike demands that gov't make public the details of RCEP talks

November 17, 2020
Japanese Communist Party Secretariat Head Koike Akira on November 16 criticized the government for secretly having carried out negotiations on the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) agreement and for only making it public after signing the RCEP.

Asked by reporters in the Diet for comments on the signing of the RCEP regional trade pact, Koike said, "The government should inform the public what kind of impacts the RCEP will have on their livelihoods."

The government says it excluded Japan's key food categories including rice, wheat, beef/pork, dairy products, and sugar from the negotiations. However, Koike pointed out that when the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade talks were going on, the government was saying that Japan's key items would be excluded, but in fact this was not true.

He said, "It is necessary to make clear the progress of RCEP negotiations and possible economic consequences of the RCEP." Regarding industrial products, he said, "The RCEP may accelerate the move to shift production bases to China and may result in a hollowing-out of domestic industry. Possible risks and impacts associated with the RCEP should be open for discussion."

Koike cited figures released by a senior economist with the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) which show that the trade balance of ASEAN countries will deteriorate in contrast to an increase in exports from Japan, China, and South Korea after the RCEP enters into force. He said, "We should examine if the RCEP is a mutually-beneficial agreement covering the entire East Asia and South East Asia region. In this respect as well, closed-door negotiations are problematic."

He added, "It's high time to undertake a radical review of the global economy pursuing strong international competitiveness at the expense of local economies and people's daily lives. Japan should head in the direction of respecting economic sovereignty and food sovereignty."
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