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HOME  > Past issues  > 2013 August 21 - 27  > Abe blindly follows US on TPP
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2013 August 21 - 27 [ECONOMY]

Abe blindly follows US on TPP

August 24, 2013
Akahata editorial (excerpts)

The twelve countries participating in Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement talks released a joint statement after their ministerial meeting in Brunei, confirming their commitment to concluding the pact “within this year”. They adopted the statement under U.S. pressure.

Normally, the hosting country of the talks presides the meeting. However, it was U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman who took on the position as the chairman, showing that the TPP negotiations are actually under the U.S. control.

U.S. President Barack Obama set the finalization of the TPP as a centerpiece of his economic recovery policy and he is planning to take advantage of it as his major achievement in the mid-year election in the coming autumn. That is why the USTR forced through the “within this year” statement.

Blindly following the United States, the Abe government is waving the “within this year” flag. When Froman made a visit to Japan before going to Brunei, government spokesman Suga Yoshihide and economic revitalization minister Amari Akira met the U.S. representative and expressed the intention that Japan will side with U.S.-led negotiations and endorse a “within this year” slogan.

Prime Minister Abe claims he will get Japan’s key five products, including rice, treated as exceptional items and will protect the national interest.

The Abe Cabinet, however, showed not the least willingness to work with other countries at the TPP summit which are concerned about the extreme liberalization of trade called for and are resisting the U.S. imposition of terms in order to defend their own national interests.

Anti-TPP popular movements are entering a crucial stage and need to further increase.
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