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Japanese PM highlights TPP during ASEAN summits

Updated: 2013-10-10 19:49
( Xinhua)

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN -- Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said here Thursday that the US-led Trans- Pacific Partnership (TPP) is "a pathway to realize a market befitting the growth center of the 21st century."

Abe made the remarks at a press conference after the 16th ASEAN Plus Three Summit on Thursday, ASEAN-Japan Summit Wednesday in Brunei and the latest TPP summit on Tuesday in Bali, Indonesia.

The Bali summit marked the 20th round of negotiation on TPP free trade pact involving 12 nations in a bid to solve outstanding problems such as the tariff of most sensitive products.

Abe said his ruling Liberal Democratic Party will not run against its election campaign promises, saying "Japan will defend what it should defend so as to pursue Japan's national interests" in the TPP negotiations.

As to Japan-ASEAN relations, Abe said that cooperative relations between the two sides need to be upgraded to a higher dimension and further cooperation should be carried out in healthcare, urban development and disaster management.

This year marks the 40th anniversary of ASEAN-Japan Friendship and Cooperation and the two sides will hold in December in Tokyo a commemorative summit, according to Abe.