Japan is now an official member of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a free trade agreement involving countries around the Pacific Region. At the 18th round of TPP negotiations, which is hosted by Malaysia at the Sutera Harbour Hotel in Kota Kinabalu, Japan was welcomed by Malaysian chief negotiator J. Jayasiri. Led by Koji Tsuruoka, the 12th member of the convention was also briefed by Jayasiri “on the procedures and processes under the TPP.”
The 18th round of negotiations involved intellectual property rights, environmental, and legal issues in the region. Although Japan has joined late, its membership is still regarded significant. A Malaysian official even stated that Japan will help keep harmony among members. It’s prior, and on going, agreement with the other TPP members, like New Zealand and Vietnam as well as host Malaysia, is also believed to help the new member to feel at ease despite the late membership. Besides the three nations mentioned, the other members of the Trans-Pacific Partnership are Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Mexico, Peru, Singapore, and the United States.
Besides fostering relationship with nations in the Pacific Region, Japan has also recently made efforts to strengthen ties with its immediate neighbors in the region. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe considers the relationships with the Southeast Asian nations vital in his economic goals. The LDP chief has even scheduled trips to Malaysia, the Philippines, and Singapore later this week.
[via Business Times]