FPCJ Press Briefing on TPP by Minister Akira Amari


FPCJ Press Briefing on TPP by Minister Akira Amari


1. Gist of the briefing

-TPP will be beneficial for the future prosperity in the Asia-Pacific region and it will also give stimulus to global economy. It is a new type and a standard for the 21st century. TPP also has the strategic significance for the regional peace and stability, as members upholds universal values such as freedom, basic human rights, and rule of laws.

- TPP is only at the starting point and it is a “living agreement”. It is expected to expand with more countries’ participating. TPP will evolve as the new standard of trade and investment rules. - In some member countries, there are concerned voices over the content of TPP agreement, calling for discussion on possible reconsideration before the signing. However, the agreement is such an inter-twined one with various complex aspects involved. As for Japan, the country will not reconsider what was agreed upon.

- TPP directly affects revitalization of Japan’s economy as well as local economy.

- On 25 November 2015, the Japanese government adopted the general policy outline of TPP. Policy goals are

1) to make Japan a vibrant export nation
2) to make Japan a global hub of world trade and investment and
3) to make agricultural sector an aggressive industry. To achieve these policy goals, the government will continuously review and assess the development.

- On 1) to make Japan a vibrant export nation, Japan will expand various types of exports, for instance, through measures such as support for SMEs to go overseas and enhancement of the contents industry such as TV programmes, films and animations.

- On 2) to make Japan a global hub of world trade and investment, Japan will implement measures to attract more investment and human capital in areas such as R&D

- On 3) to make agricultural sector an aggressive industry, Japan will transform the agricultural industry into a growth industry, through measures such as expansion of Japanese food products to overseas, promotion of “Washoku (Japanese food) culture”, and enhancement of awareness of business perspectives in the agricultural industry. TPP offers opportunities to exercise agricultural sector’s full potential.

2. Q&A;

- (On how RCEP/FTAAP will be integrated into TPP)

There is a chain reaction happening due to the broad agreement on TPP. Negotiation on Japan-EU EPA is speeding up and countries involved in RCEP negotiations do not wish to be left behind. There are about five countries that unofficially express strong interest in joining TPP. The key is whether such countries can catch up with TPP’s ambitious agreement with high-level standard.

- (On how soon the positive effects could be felt in Japan’s economic growth)

Although in some cases tariff reduction will take place in long term, there are items for immediate elimination of tariff such as industrial goods. There will be immediate positive impacts.

- (On benefit for Viet Nam to be a member of TPP in terms of relations with Japan)

It was rather surprising that Viet Nam decided to be part of such an ambitious agreement. The country must have decided by staking its future on TPP. Viet Nam decided to be a part of making new global rules, rather than being on the side of accepting rules. In terms of possible cooperation with Japan, what Viet Nam has in mind would be establishing an intra region value chain by teaming up with Japan, the country with high technologies. Also, for Viet Nam, participating in TPP is strategically important from security point of view, as US is a member of TPP. Presumably, non-TPP member ASEAN countries are feeling that Viet Nam is a step ahead of them because of TPP.

- (On Japan’s position over other countries’ joining TPP)

Basically, Japan welcomes new members and offers information and advices if requested.

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