Japanese Ministers Welcome Taiwan's TPP Bid

Politics

Tokyo, Sept. 24 (Jiji Press)--Japanese ministers welcomed on Friday Taiwan's application to join the Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade deal.

"Taiwan is an extremely important partner that has a close economic relationship (with Japan)," Chief Cabinet Secretary Katsunobu Kato told a news conference.

"We would like to welcome (Taiwan's bid for TPP membership) for now," Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Hiroshi Kajiyama said while refraining from commenting on whether negotiations on Taiwan's participation in the multilateral trade deal will actually be kicked off.

China, which made on Sept. 16 a formal application to join the TPP, is frustrated at Taiwan's bid, announced Wednesday, claiming that Taiwan is seeking to become independent of China.

Japanese economic revitalization minister Yasutoshi Nishimura, who is responsible for the TPP, pointed out that the pact stipulates that a member should be a country or an independent tariff region. "We think that Taiwan's entry to the TPP is possible" under its rules, he said.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press