Power Play

Japan plays guardian and gatekeeper of the CPTPP

China says it wants to join the 11-nation Pacific Rim free trade arrangement, in addition to being part of the RCEP. The US has no role in either grouping, leaving Japan to hold the line.

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Power Play is a weekly column that looks at various facets of US-China rivalry and its implications for Asia.

Before former leader Shinzo Abe came along, Japan was seen as a waning global power with a revolving door of prime ministers and an economy that was leapfrogged by China in 2010.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 18, 2021, with the headline Japan plays guardian and gatekeeper of the CPTPP . Subscribe