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China Daily Website

Better choice than TPP for Japan

Updated: 2013-03-18 20:51
( chinadaily.com.cn)

The United States' Trans-Pacific Partnership proposes abolishing tariffs among its members. Yet, Japan wants to protect its national industry from competition, which demonstrates the potential risks of Abe's policies, says an article in 21st Century Business Herald. Excerpts:

Attitudes in Japan are split toward its entering the TPP. Supporters think it will boost Japan's exports and Japan will get US support to contain China. Opponents say Japan has other choices to contain China and the negative influence of the TPP is also obvious for Japan.

The TPP's lower standards on genetically modified foods, food additives and pesticide residue will necessarily affect food safety in Japan.

After entering the TPP, Japanese agriculture will certainly be shocked by US agricultural products. Japan's exports to China account for 30 percent of its total exports. Japan's entering the TPP is also going to influence its exports to China.

It is wishful thinking to believe that Japan's exports will increase under the TPP. The high labor costs of Japanese products are one main factor, beside the tariffs. The no-tariff policy of the TPP will make more cheap commodities flow into the Japanese market, which will further lower prices.

Because Japan is also one of the parties in negotiation with China and South Korea in the Free Trade Area of East Asia, Shinzo Abe has a better alternative than the TPP to maximize Japan's interests.