Japan, New Zealand affirm commitment to future of TPP

Prime Minister Bill English said his talks on the TPP with Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe went better than he expected and they will both be pushing for early implementation of the agreement.

Following the meeting overnight, New Zealand and Japan reiterated their commitment to the TPP despite the fact the United States has pulled out.

"Prime Minister Abe is committed to implementing the TPP on the timetable it's on".

Japan and New Zealand are the only two of the TPP's 12 Pacific Rim signatories to have ratified the pact so far.

He said the countries would discuss whether the TPP as negotiated should stay in place - NZ's preferred route - or the deal should be renegotiated now the U.S. has quit.

That said, with the United States now out of the picture - who was the nation driving such clauses - there is at least the opportunity for a more friendly deal to be negotiated between the remaining member countries.

"We value Japan's views on these issues", Mr English says.

"We're unwavering in standing ready to continue deploying the three arrows of fiscal, monetary and structural measures" to end deflation, Abe said.

Critics still doubt the sincerity of the apology and also criticized that the deal was hastily arranged without sufficiently seeking the opinions of victims. "I hope that they have a collective will to proceed", English said.

Japan is New Zealand's fifth largest trading partner, with two-way trade totalling over $7 billion, and the fifth largest source of foreign investment. "We would certainly hope they would come back later", he said, noting the agreement likely "would be pretty attractive to them without" major changes. Japan believes moving ahead with TPP 11 makes that outcome more likely, and will consider measures to pave the way for a USA return. These nations pushed through unpopular policies such as state enterprise reform to be able to participate in the pact, and have made noises about demanding revisions. Trying to get reluctant participants excited about the USA -less pact still seems to be the best bet.


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