politics

Japan to send 100-strong delegation to TPP talks in Brunei

17 Comments

The Japanese government will send a delegation of 100 to the 19th round of talks on the U.S.-led Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) free trade agreement in Brunei this week.

The talks will be held from Aug 22 to Aug 30.

Japan, which had been observing the talks from the sidelines, only made a commitment to enter negotiations after Prime Minister Shinzo Abe came to power in December. It formally joined the 18thg round of talks last month in Malaysia.

The TPP talks are aimed at creating a free trade deal which would cover nearly 40% of the global economy.

The main sticking point for Japan with its negotiating partners will be the elimination of import tariffs on rice and four other farm product categories.

The government faces resistance from a powerful lobby of farmers who are concerned about the extra competition the TPP would bring.

Japan's market of 128 million consumers is a potentially big prize for foreign firms, many of which presently complain that Tokyo kicks up obstacles -- tariffs and non-tariff barriers -- that stop their products reaching shelves.

The automotive, health care, insurance and agricultural sectors are seen as particularly cushioned. U.S. automakers complain bitterly that they are never competing on a level playing field against their Japanese rivals.

However, some voices warn that Tokyo will try to write in so many exceptions that any agreement might fall far short of expectations, and could, in any case, take much longer to reach.

Other than Japan, Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, the United States and Vietnam are party to talks for the free-trade deal.

© Japan Today/AFP

©2021 GPlusMedia Inc.

17 Comments
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ah yes, yet another free trade agreement no one voted for in any country ever

1 ( +2 / -1 )

I wonder about the level of English in this Japanese delegation, or are half of them translators.

5 ( +8 / -3 )

Great. A bunch of academic goofs who are going to endlessly talk about preparing to talk about eyeing future meetings to talk about whether or not to decide to someday join the TPP.

Maybe everybody can make a decision by 2113.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I wonder about the level of English in this Japanese delegation, or are half of them translators.

I'm sure they've all perfected "why are you laughing" and "shut up".

4 ( +6 / -2 )

100 people? Ah, OK, 2 people who can work 2 hours a day and 98 fluffers to accompany them. I'm surprised. That is not like the usual Japanese efficiency we see everyday is it? Any visit to a Japanese government office will reveal how hard they work. When I'm on the train at 17.15, I never see any public workers. They are far too busy working and trying to save their tiny Showa pensions. 2 people should be more than enough. Anyhoo, glad to see my tax dollars are not just sitting in the bank.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

1 guy to put the lightbulb in and 99 to .... (fill in blank)

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Sending a delegation of 100? Wow, I already see a confusion and a mess ahead. This is where all miscommunication and misunderstanding are exchanged.

We hosted Japanese trade delegation of 30 who came to our state. They came here without any translators, CPA, and legal teams, so basically they watched our presentations, listen to our bilateral trade plans. They were all bored and some of them were falling asleep. I felt very bad for American Tax Payers and Japanese Tax Payers as we were not producing anything at all.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

The Japanese approach, just throw endless waves of human bodies at a problem. You see this throughout the public sector. Single individual criminal cases deploy hundreds of officers. When a ship for Korean residents docked in Niigata, 2,000 officers were deployed at the tiny rural port, which was almost comical.

That's our tax money at work. These bureaucrats are highly paid and will be accommodated in 5-star luxury in one of the world's priciest countries.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Responsibility for misunderstandings or reneged-on agreements diluted by 100? That'll do!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

JeffLeeAug. 18, 2013 - 04:26PM JST

That's our tax money at work. These bureaucrats are highly paid and will be accommodated in 5-star luxury in one of the world's priciest countries.

But it doesn't matter because it's not real money since we're taxed in Yen and Japan prints the Yen, does it Jeff?

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

gaijinfoAug. 18, 2013 - 11:57AM JST

Great. A bunch of academic goofs who are going to endlessly talk about preparing to talk about eyeing future meetings to talk about whether or not to decide to someday join the TPP.

Maybe everybody can make a decision by 2113..................................................................../

When did you review 100 people's school records? What kind of degrees they have to be academic? Yale, UC Berkley?.... Write out.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

"But it doesn't matter because it's not real money since we're taxed in Yen and Japan prints the Yen, does it Jeff?"

The people collecting that yen will be Brunei's hospitality industry, not us. So it's an outflow and thus not stimulus in nature. But it matters because politicians and bureaucrats are the ones who collect and spend our taxes...and then put the brakes on after they decide they've spent too much, hurting us all.

In terms of fiscal expenditures, I'd much prefer they replace concrete with grass in urban areas and build more tennis courts near my home, because getting a reservation on a weekend is impossible.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

100 yeow, I sense mass confusion coming soon

1 ( +1 / -0 )

A hundred or more is made to look impressive and bolster the seriousness that Abe is trying to stress but is not going to buy it with the people who are already facing a rapid rise in the cost of living without any commensurate increase in pay, job stability nor higher employment prospects. As usual the corporates will be the one amassing huge profits for their shareholders with nothing but more economic difficulties for the people. Perhaps it is time for the people to throw Abe's Three Arrows back at him. He has already failed. Insisting to carry on will only bring about even more problems for the people.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

100 delegations? make it 1,000 or even better 1,000,000 just to boost the numbers. Out of 100 delegations, probably only 1-3 will do the negotiation and be serious about TPP, the rests either golfers or pub-crawlers.

What a waste of public tax-payers money to fund a trip for 100 so-called. These people are not going to fly cheap too. 100 so-called delegations will eat, sleep, drink, high-fly, tour, etc all under 5-star rating funded by 128 millions hard earned tax.

What a productive way to spend tax money! Surely it will save the country national debt by sending only 100 instead of 1,000 politicians. At least unnecessary spending for another 900 is saved in the coffer, what a logic?

May I join if any1 of them has to cancel his/her trip last minute please? Btw, I can surely make the decision too!

0 ( +2 / -2 )

100 people? Ah, OK, 2 people who can work 2 hours a day and 98 fluffers to accompany them......1 guy to put the lightbulb in and 99 to .... (fill in blank)......The Japanese approach, just throw endless waves of human bodies at a problem....

......and so on and so forth. Sounds like you're having a blast here in Japan.

Yes, a large number of the delegation are translators. Hundreds of pages in English which need accurate verified translation stat, a lot of money and people's futures riding on it. Perhaps everyone should all learn Japanese and then maybe just five people would be necessary.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

This will be more confusing. Japan has not adjusted to international ways of negotiations. Many Japanese businesspeople are experienced in interacting with other cultures. However, that does not mean that they are open-minded. When negotiating business, people expect that you understand and follow the Japanese way of doing things. Japan’s culture is strongly group-oriented. Individual preferences are less important than having a sense of belonging to a group, conforming to its norms, and without looking at a big picture, the maintaining harmony among its members, who are expected to develop an intense loyalty to the group as a whole. Maybe this is why so many countries refuse to negotiate with close-minded Japan.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

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