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LDP's Decision to Participate in the TPP

March 13, 2013

Liberal Democratic Party

The Prime Minister Shinzo Abe today announced that Japan will officially take part in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) talks. His decision reflected the shared values of the countries participating: liberalism, the free market economy and a commitment to free trade. Prime Minister Abe, after carefully considering the concerns expressed by a wide cross-section of Japanese people, made the decision as the deadline for participation approached. The LDP fully supported the Prime Minister in this very difficult decision.

At last year's elections for the House of Representatives, the LDP raised six areas of concern about the TPP that echoed the apprehensions of the Japanese people and promised to make the then government to reflect them in the TPP negotiations.

On February 27 2013, a few days after the Japan-U.S. summit, the Party reconfirmed those six items as issues of national interest, and urged the Abe government to take action. On March 1, the LDP established a new unit led by Chairman Seishiro Eto called the Headquarters for Regional Diplomatic and Economic Partnership, and placed the TPP Committee, chaired by Koya Nishikawa, under its authority. Five teams of experts on the economy, agriculture, forestry and fisheries, health and welfare, monetary and fiscal policy, and diplomacy were formed. After days of vigorous debate the teams concluded arguments and released the 'LDP resolution on TPP' which was presented to the Prime Minister on March 15th at the Prime Minister's Office. The decision of the Prime Minister was made based on these processes the Party had taken.
Our government will be steadfast in future negotiations with the other nations, confident in our strong determination to defend and take affirmative action when needed in the national interest.

Our Party will not break its promise with the nation. We promise that the LDP will work with the government to ensure the TPP is beneficial to our country. Furthermore, we believe that the TPP is not simply a trade agreement. Not only does it create economic benefits for Japan through free trade but it will also greatly contribute to the security of our country.

Needless to say the understanding and support of the nation is essential in this process. We urge the nation to support the government in making the TPP a major catalyst for Japan's economic growth, for revitalizing society, and for enhancing the prosperity of Japanese agriculture and farming communities.

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