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.© Japan Today