Executives' Comments Comment by Chairman Chairman Sakakibara's comment on the conclusion of the Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations
We cordially welcome the recent conclusion reached by the twelve Pacific-rim countries for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations.
More than two years have passed since Japan first joined the rounds of intensive TPP negotiations. We would like to pay respect to Minister Amari as well as related government officials and members of the ruling party for their energetic negotiations and successful conclusion of the TPP negotiations. Particularly, during the latest ministerial meeting in Atlanta, they extended the initial schedule substantially and negotiated persistently for agreement, and we highly rate their endeavors.
TPP is a landmark 21st-century economic partnership agreement. This agreement, which covers approximately 40% of the world's GDP, achieves an unprecedentedly high level of liberalization and set the common rules for the non-tariff areas (such as investments, competitive policy, and intellectual property) and new issues (such as labor and environment protections). We highly evaluate these accomplishments, too.
Making the most of TPP as an institutional infrastructure to establish a high level of value chains in the fast-growing Asia Pacific region becomes the linchpin of Japan's growth strategy. TPP will also contribute to growth, prosperity, and stability of the region. We sincerely hope that the recent TPP conclusion will help accelerate negotiations for a Japan-China-Korea FTA and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) for early conclusion and that the Free Trade Area of the Asia-Pacific (FTAAP) will be established by the target year of 2020. Along with these partnerships, the Japan-EU economic partnership agreement (Japan-EU EPA) should also be realized as early as possible.
There is concern about the effects of TPP on agriculture and other industries in Japan, but it is necessary to utilize this partnership as an opportunity to strengthen the foundation of the country's agriculture and develop it into a growth industry by taking domestic measures as necessary. To that end, it is important for Japanese government, agricultural circles, and the business community to make united efforts to push structural reforms, among others. We will continue to work closely with agricultural circles in the future.
TPP provides an infrastructure that benefits the Japanese economy and society as a whole. It is essential that not only the business community but also all industries, including agriculture, should make the best use of TPP for economic development and growth. We hope that the TPP agreement will come into force swiftly.