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Japan Delays TPP Decision

May 2011 - Tax & Private Client. Legal Developments by Hassans.

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As a further consequence of the earthquake and tsunami in March this year, it has now been officially confirmed that Japan?s decision on whether to join the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) will be delayed beyond its expected June deadline.

Before the disaster, there had even been some hopes that, given the priority previously given to trade liberalization by Prime Minister Naoto Kan in an economic growth strategy, the government would bring forward its deadline on deciding whether or not to enter into the ongoing negotiations to expand the TPP between the United States, Australia, Peru, Vietnam, Malaysia and its original signatories - New Zealand, Chile, Singapore and Brunei.

However, as the government was always going to have a hard time in overcoming opposition from Japan?s agricultural sector for a trade treaty in which there will be no exemptions for sensitive products, the difficulties being experienced by farming and fisheries in the disaster-affected north-east have now made a decision on the TPP that much more difficult.

It has now been indicated that a Japanese position on the TPP should be made clear by the time that the current negotiating countries hope to agree a draft agreement at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit meeting in the US in November this year.

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