Noda postpones decision on TPP for one more day


Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda on Thursday postponed his decision on whether Japan should join in discussions on the trans-Pacific free trade agreement, Chief Cabinet Secretary Osamu Fujimura told a news conference.

Noda has been under tremendous pressure from TPP opponents not to bring Japan into the TPP framework when he attends the APEC meeting in Hawaii on the weekend.

A DPJ task force worked through Wednesday night into early Thursday morning to try and work out a consensus on the issue, but was unable to reach a conclusion. They advised Noda to take a more cautious approach, Fujimura said.

Fujimura said that Noda met senior officials of the government and DPJ at his office early this afternoon before deciding to postpone his announcement. He said that Noda will meet with his ministers again on Friday morning before announcing his decision at a news conference in the afternoon.

Noda and many of his cabinet have hinted repeatedly they favor Japan's participation in the talks. The prime minister has been harshly criticized by the agricultural sector, led by former Agriculture Minister Masahiko Yamada who has said he will do everything he can to prevent Japan from joining the TPP.

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Joining the discussions and joining TPP are two different things totally. Sure the participating countries may have an expectation that joining the discussions means a willingness to fully join the pact but knowing how Japan is the two are not one and the same.

Noda go for it!

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Make sure not to agree with American agricultural policies in Japan. Japan is much more concerned with GMO food than USA because of the heatlh effects related to GMO and the effect it has on the environment. Japan should maintain their cautious stance and not fall to the gutter AMerican level. More testing is needed instead of using ordinary citizens as guinie pigs. USA is a country with little disregard for global environment as well as food safety. They are not on par with Japan or Europe. Their standards are much lower. When the biggest seed company in USA who has 90% of market share of GMO crops in USA also is the same company which produced Agent Orange during the Vietnam War and Round Up, it illustartaes the reality of this sad state American agriculture is in. Add to the fact that 1 out of 3 in USA have some kind of health problems due to their unhealthy diet. If you think food. ANything but American is a good slogan for people who want to lead a healthy lifestyle.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

You want to know why Mr Noda and many of his cabinet favor Japan's participation in TPP? Because they are playing fire on their own, they believes that is a bargaining chip to deal with China, the TPP serving as a card for diplomatic purposes! But i really hope Mr Noda will sign that will brimng him and the naive DPJ down, the Japanese farmers were willing to 'roll' against this pact, they dont care whatsoever diplomacy games the DPJ is playing! And the japanese politics will be further chaotic once Japan committed the TPP, please do it Noda, you have got to do it!

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

NO to TPP. ASIAN countries will prevail and progress. That's what USA is afraid of. This TPP is another ploy by USA to solve their problems they made for their country.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Mr. Noda, please... Don't do it, it is a trap!

1 ( +3 / -2 )

TPP will not bring much benefit to Japan. Japan's economy is not "export-driven", as exports are only 14% of Japan's GDP (compared to some 50% for Korea, over 30% for Germany, China, etc.). The belief that exporting to foreign markets are Japan's only hope for economic growth is wrongheaded. And of course the largest markets in TPP if Japan joins will be the US and Japan, thus in effect it will be a trade agreement between these two countries. At any rate, TPP will not make much of a difference for Japanese exporters. E.g. US tariffs on cars are 2.5%. Even if that is removed via TPP, a little yen appreciation will bring it all to nought. Also, the US aims to increase exports (to Japan) via TPP and reduce its trade deficit and create US jobs. It will probably not let Japan export to the US so easily. Even the Japanese government estimates that TPP will result in only a 0.05% annual GDP growth for Japan. That's not enough reason to change Japan's laws and standards to conform to US requirements. Of course it will destroy Japan's food production capacity, which is a matter of national security. More than anything, "free trade" is an anti-inflationary measure. The Japanese economy is in deflation; "free trade" will only worsen deflation. Japan also has to focus on recovery from the Great East Japan Earthquake. This is not the time for TPP. It seems the pro-TPP supporters in the government generally are so simply because they believe in "globalization" as an article of faith, and also no longer believe in the Japanese market's capability to recover and grow internally - and also, they want to help President Obama improve his image during the APEC summit to increase his chances for reelection...

2 ( +4 / -2 )

another indecisive dunce. bend over and kiss your butt good-bye mr. noda because it is people like you and yours pulling the plug on japan by making no decisions.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

TPP will put a straightjacket around what policies and laws governments can make. Japan does not need to change it's laws – such as food quality. It should not be bullied into bad laws that make bad health.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

They advised Noda to take a more cautious approach, Fujimura said

In other words, let's continue to do nothing, except hope that something magical happens to reverse Japan's economic fortunes and allow it to continue to be an isolated country incapable of change, like it has for the past two decades. A sentiment apparently shared by a number of posters here who want to put their personal and political agendas ahead of the well-being of future generations of Japanese youth. Ignoring, of course, the fact that Japan has only reached its current level of prosperity because the U.S. opened its market to Japanese products. But, now, big-bad U.S. is the enemy. Which, of course, is crazy, since the U.S. is still the world's largest economy and Japanese companies need to be able to compete there on even footing much more than the U.S. needs to sell a few more cars in Japan. Japan is cutting off its nose to spite its face.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

I,really hope that Japan will not agree fully to the TPP,it's the worst thing to do at the worst time. Japan have an huge debt,his close economy now is the only thing that prevent him to crush,if he will start making more effort on international economy (in a period where the USA and Europe economy are falling) that will only increase the japan financial problem.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Are you serious? You are talking GMO while we are forced to eat overprice and cesium contaminated food from Japanese farmers in Fukushima? Why not let the market decide what is the right product. Sign the TPP and get it over with! Consumer should have the final word about what products to acquire, not government, not some bureaucrats! Free trade agreement. Free is the key word. It's not going to benefit America or Japan, it will benefit the consumer, every single one of us. Why should average Joe consumer be financially responsible for the fact that Japanese farmers cannot adopt to mother agriculture business tendencies? Protectionism is the thing of the past and it proved failure many times. Agriculture unions should be disbanded and their leaders jailed, because they formed a cartel, which is illegal. Japan needs to look inside for sources of poor economy rather than pointing fingers all over the world. Noda, sign the damn paper!

0 ( +3 / -3 )

It will benefit the consumer, every single one of us.

Not if the company the "consumer" works for goes bankrupt. Again, Japan is in deflation. "Free trade" is not something you do in a time of deflation as it will only make things worse, i.e. it will lead to more companies collapsing, higher unemployment, and of course, weaker consumer purchasing power.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

You are talking GMO while we are forced to eat overprice and cesium contaminated food from Japanese farmers in Fukushima? Why not let the market decide what is the right product.

While cesium is a great concern and I think the Japanese government should do more to protect it`s citizens it does not mean because of cesium that Japan should import unsafe food products which are banned in many places around the world from USA. Safe guarding it´s citizens from unsafe food has nothing to do with protectionism.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Looks like Noda has got himself into the same situation as the buffoon Hatoyama by promising to make a decision by a certain deadline. Now they are seeking a "consensus" among two groups with opposing views; what a farce.

Meanwhile, in a fine example of opportunistic posturing the LDP weasels, who earlier supported joining the TPP talks, now oppose them.

I think Japan should negotiate with individual countries, although four years of negotiations with Australia on a FTA haven't made much progress. When it comes to agricultural products Japan just refuses to concede anything. Given such intransigence Japan should not join the TPP talks as they would be joining in bad faith.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Mr. Noda, do not join TPP. Japan has a little gain from TPP.

I have read that US Finance Committee has sent you a letter encouraging you to join. But I would like to remind you some of these members once took hammers in their own hands and smashed Japanese cars while the Japanese Bashing days. Americans have no clue why we are not well liked by the world. Americans are good people, but some US congress members are not. They are ignorant and arrogant IMHO, and they do not care about others. They only care about their next election. Shame.

Again, Mr. Noda, I sincerely hope you are open minded and are willing to listen to others who oppose TPP.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

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