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Japan uses TPP to get US support

chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2013-03-04 22:42

Japan agreeing to join TPP negotiations is only a compromise by Abe in exchange for the US' support for Japan's islands dispute with China, says an article of the 21st Century Business Herald. Excerpts:

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe visited the United States in February. The most notable outcome of the visit for the US is Japan agreeing to enter into negotiations for a Trans-Pacific Partnership.

Abe proposed to end the post-war system in his first term as prime minister of Japan in 2006. It is a move obviously denying the international system built by the US after World War II, leading the US media to be very cold to Abe. Even President Obama directly denied Abe's request to visit the US. To win US support, Abe declared Japan will join the US-led TPP.

Japan will be required to lower its tariffs, which will be a disaster for Japanese farmers who have been long protected by the tariff.

Japan has not closed the door to negotiations with China and South Korea on the Free Trade Area of the three countries. So while Abe has agreed to enter negotiations on the TPP, there is still a long way to go before Japan joins the TPP, which is designed by the US to counter China's financial influence in Asia and the Pacific.

The Association of South East Asian Nations are also reluctant to join the US' TPP because China is their largest trade partner, despite some ASEAN countries' reliance on the US for security protection.

If TPP cannot succeed in attracting enough support from local countries, its function will be limited. Japan's compromise will not be that important for the US in an unsuccessful TPP.

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