Companies hope Japan's entry into TPP talks to lead to export growth
(Japan Economic Newswire Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) TOKYO, Feb. 23 -- (Kyodo) _ After the Japan-U.S. summit meeting paved the way for Tokyo to possibly join negotiations for a U.S.-led trans-Pacific free trade initiative, many Japanese companies expressed hope Saturday that the envisioned abolition of tariffs would help boost exports.
Major business organizations also expressed a positive view, with the Japan Association of Corporative Executives and the Japan Chamber of Commerce and Industry respectively issuing statements calling on the government to announce entry into multilateral negotiations on the Trans-Pacific Partnership soon.
JACE Chairman Yasuchika Hasegawa said it is a "big step toward entry into the negotiations," referring to the joint statement issued by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and U.S. President Barack Obama, which confirmed that Tokyo will not need to pledge to remove all tariffs if it is to join TPP negotiations.
JCCI Chairman Tadashi Okamura said the TPP is "part of important growth strategies among economic measures promoted by the Abe administration."
He also said it would be important for the government to carry out measures that will help local economies as well as the agriculture and fishery industries to overcome the impact to be caused by Japan eventually participating in the free trade initiative.
An official of a Japanese automaker, meanwhile, expressed hope that the summit meeting will trigger moves toward Japan's entry into the TPP talks.
Japanese electric appliance manufacturers have been accelerating efforts to boost exports given falling demand at home, but face intense competition with rivals from South Korea, which has already formed free trade agreements with the United States and the European Union to cut tariffs.
"We have to boost sales of consumer appliances overseas," an executive of a major Japanese electronics maker said, adding that Japan should join the TPP soon to "narrow the gap in competitive powers."
(c) 2013 Kyodo News International, Inc.
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