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PM Abe: Japan will join TPP free trade talks

Published on Mar 15, 2013 5:52 PM
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Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe speaks during a news conference at his official residence in Tokyo on March 15, 2013. Japan has finally decided to join the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) free trade talks, barely half a year before the negotiations are due to end. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

TOKYO - Japan has finally decided to join the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) free trade talks, barely half a year before the negotiations are due to end.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe told a press conference here on Friday that Japan must quickly join the three-year-old talks so that it can play an active role in determining the rules for the new regional trade framework.

Mr Abe's announcement came after months of procrastination by Japan, in large part by the previous three Democrat-led administrations, whether to join the negotiations.

The last-minute decision by Japan comes amid deep concerns that the TPP will unleash a flood of cheap imports into Japan, weakening the country's heavily-protected farm sector in particular.

 
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