September 14, 2017 2:56 am JST

Japan pushes for expedited talks on 'TPP 11'

Signatories eye fresh trade deal without US by year-end

TOKYO -- Japan will push to accelerate dialogue on a revived Trans-Pacific Partnership, the state minister for economic and fiscal policy confirmed during talks Wednesday with a Mexican official as well as other countries' envoys to Japan.

Toshimitsu Motegi, who is also minister in charge of economic revitalization, conversed over the phone with Mexico's Secretary of the Economy Ildefonso Guajardo. He went on to meet in Tokyo with ambassadors to Japan from Singapore, Vietnam, Brunei and Malaysia, concurring on shared efforts to hasten the deliberations.

Also on Wednesday, Motegi communicated Japan's intent to solidify a resurrected trade pact in person to U.S. ambassador to Japan William Hagerty. 

The Japanese government will call a meeting of chief negotiators -- the top working-level officials -- of the 11 remaining TPP members later this month in Tokyo to lay the groundwork for a general agreement by the end of this year.

After years of negotiating a regional pact with the 11 countries, the U.S. withdrew from the TPP shortly after President Donald Trump took office in January, leaving the remaining members to figure out ways to salvage their efforts.

(Nikkei)

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