衆院予算委 首相はTPP参加へカジ切れ

Abe must steer toward participation in TPP talks
The Yomiuri Shimbun (Feb. 9, 2013)
衆院予算委 首相はTPP参加へカジ切れ(2月8日付・読売社説)

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe must look positively at participation in negotiations for the Trans-Pacific Partnership multilateral trade and economic framework to realize economic revitalization, which is the top priority of his administration.

Deliberations of the House of Representatives Budget Committee, the first full-fledged Diet debate since the launch of the Abe administration, have started.

In response to questions from lawmakers over participation in the TPP negotiations, Abe did not stray from the Liberal Democratic Party’s latest election pledge of opposing participation in the negotiations as long as the premise is the abolition of tariffs without exception. Regarding the Japan-U.S. summit meeting with U.S. President Barack Obama scheduled for late February, Abe only said, “I don’t have to bring up participation in the TPP negotiations.”

This shows a half-hearted attitude.


Exercise negotiating power

Abe probably took into consideration that wariness within the Liberal Democratic Party toward participation in the TPP negotiations has been gaining momentum. Many LDP members fear losing the support of major LDP support organizations such as agricultural cooperatives with this summer’s House of Councillors election in sight.

The LDP is now summarizing members’ opinions on the TPP at its Research Commission on Regional Diplomatic and Economic Partnership, but we think there must be difficulties forming a consensus.

Before the lower house election last year, Abe emphasized that the LDP has “bargaining power.” As the LDP is now back in the seat of power, it now must make the necessary arrangements to exercise its bargaining power and steer toward participation in the negotiations.

LDP Policy Research Council Chairwoman Sanae Takaichi said during a TV program last month, “There is a small possibility for us to leave the talks after participating in the negotiations if our desired conditions are not met.”

Japan must first participate in the negotiations of the pan-Pacific economic partnership agreement and work toward formulating trade rules that will benefit Japan’s national interests.

However, the prevailing atmosphere within the LDP is that even the level of commitment in Takaichi’s statement should not be allowed.

Some LDP members opposed to participation say there has been no explanation of any concrete advantages of Japan’s participation in the TPP.

Participation in the TPP, which is designed to take advantage of the vitality of emerging Asian economies, can become a major pillar for Japan’s growth strategy. The government needs to sufficiently explain this and other advantages to the Diet and the public.


Continuously work on China

Meanwhile, ruling and opposition members alike expressed strong concern at the committee meeting about the continuing provocations by China against Japan in the East China Sea.

Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera said the locking of fire-control radar on a Maritime Self-Defense Force destroyer by a Chinese Navy ship is equivalent to a “threat of force.” He also pointed out the possibility the action may have violated the U.N. Charter.

Abe expressed eagerness to improve relations with China, saying, “We have problems with China, and that’s why we should advance dialogue with them.”

As a permanent member of the U.N. Security Council, China bears a great responsibility in maintaining global peace and stability. Japan must cooperate with other nations, including the United States, to continuously and strongly call on China to observe the rules of the international community.

Rising tensions in East Asia will adversely affect both the Japanese and Chinese economies. It is vital for the government to continuously try to persuade China to understand returning bilateral relations to normal will benefit both nations.

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Feb. 8, 2013)
(2013年2月8日01時27分 読売新聞)


srachai について

early retired civil engineer migrated from Tokyo to Thailand
カテゴリー: 英字新聞 パーマリンク



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