For Japan, as a "trade- and investment-oriented nation," to promote liberalization of trade and investment by further opening of the country is a must for its economic prosperity. Particularly, one of the most pressing needs is to absorb the dynamism of the fast growing Asia-Pacific region.
Top priority for Japan is the earliest participation in the advanced negotiations on the Trans-Pacific Partnership as a pathway to realize a Free Trade Area of the Asia-Pacific (FTAAP) as well as speedy initiation of negotiations for a Japan-China-Republic of Korea FTA and an ASEAN + 6 economic partnership agreement by leveraging the TPP negotiations as an effective tool. In order for Japan to be involved in substantive negotiations necessary for establishment of desirable rules, it is essential to take part in such negotiations no later than the end of this year, without falling behind Mexico and Canada (which were already expressed intention to join the TPP talks as well). Japan needs to promptly declare its participation in the negotiations preferably without missing the opportunity of G20 summit and other appropriate setting.
From the standpoint of promoting overall trade policies, momentum should be maintained through decision-making on participation in the TPP negotiations. The TPP will contribute to Japan's catch up in economic partnerships through realization of high-standard agreements and building stable foundations in the Asia-Pacific region as well as regional revitalization and establishment of safety and security.
Domestic structural reform is essential for Japan to promote high-standard economic partnerships such as the TPP. Especially in Japan's agricultural sector, reform through maximum utilization of all possible policy measures needs to be implemented toward enhancement of its competitiveness as well as its transformation into a growing industry.