Japan Not Ready To Join TPP: METI Vice Minister

Friday, May 21, 2010

TOKYO (Nikkei)--Hiroyuki Ishige, vice minister for international affairs at Japan's Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, said Friday that Japan is not ready to join the U.S.-proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement, or TPP.

Japan is not at the stage to declare its participation, and to meet conditions in sectors such as agriculture is difficult, Ishige said at the 16th International Conference on the Future of Asia, hosted by Nikkei Inc. through Friday.

Ishige also said he heard during a recent trip to the U.S. that industry officials there hold high expectations for Japan joining the TPP. U.S. industry hopes to increase membership, so Japan's participation would greatly change the circumstances, according to Ishige.

Titles of speakers, names of companies, etc., were correct as of the time when the forum was held.