06 Nov '11, 4am

Japan to join Pacific trade pact talks

TOKYO: Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda is to announce the country will join negotiations on a trans-Pacific trade agreement despite strong opposition from farmers, a report said Sunday. Noda will make the announcement on Thursday, days before an Asia-Pacific summit in Hawaii where he hopes to join in US-led talks towards forming a Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade framework, the Yomiuri daily reported. So far the pact negotiations involve the US, Australia, Brunei, Chile, Malaysia, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam, and Japan would be the second-largest economy in the future TPP if it joined. But Japan's Central Union of Agricultural Cooperatives has campaigned vigorously against participation, saying a deal would reduce food security in a country where farmers -- especially of rice -- enjoy generous government protection, at the cost of high prices for c...

Full article: http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/afp_asiapacific_bu...

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