Japan plans to push forward talks to put a Pacific rim trade pact into force without the United States, which withdrew from the multination agreement in January as President Donald Trump pursues bilateral trade deals, a government source said Saturday.
With the China-excluding Trans-Pacific Partnership pact, signed last year to achieve high-level trade liberalization, adrift after the U.S. withdrawal, Japan has become eager to take the lead in making the mega trade deal take effect among the remaining 11 countries, the source said.
The 11 nations are expected to start discussing the issue at a meeting of their chief negotiators in Canada in early May, and at a meeting of their trade ministers in Vietnam late next month on the sidelines of an Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation gathering.
Tokyo had expressed reluctance to have the TPP come into force without Washington amid concern a TPP is unlikely to provide a tailwind for Japanese exporters, such as automakers, without the United States, the biggest market in the grouping.
But with free trade perceived to be under threat with the rise of protectionism since the launch of the Trump administration, calls have been growing in the government for Tokyo's leadership in keeping the momentum for free trade.
On Saturday, Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga indicated Tokyo's readiness to proceed with the TPP implementation while ensuring U.S. understanding, saying in an interview with Kyodo News, "We have a feeling that the 11-nation framework should be given weight."
Airbnb estimates that its services contributed 920 billion yen ($8.35 billion) to the Japanese economy in 2016, up 80% from the previous year, as foreign users took advantage of affordable lodging in big cities and rural areas. (Nikkei)
Princess Kako, a granddaughter of Emperor Akihito, will study at the University of Leeds in Britain from September this year to June next year as an exchange student, the Imperial Household Agency said Monday. (Japan Today)
Tokyo Metropolitan Police have arrested the former manager of an illicit parlor in Shinjuku who is suspected of instructing teenage girls to perform sex acts with customers, reports TBS News. (tokyoreporter.com)
The Japanese government has decided to start landfill work at the Henoko coastal area in the city of Nago, Okinawa Prefecture, on Tuesday for the relocation of the U.S. Marine Corps' Futenma air base, informed sources said Monday. (Jiji)
The Bank of Japan wants financial institutions to lend more money under its large-scale monetary-easing policy. But it's worried that some regional banks are too eager to offer real estate loans, especially for building rental housing. (NHK)
Two elderly women were hit and killed by a train at a station in Kanagawa Prefecture, south of Tokyo, with surveillance camera footage showing the two jumping on the tracks holding each other's hands, police said Monday. (Japan Today)
Rakuten Inc announced the official launch of "Rakuten Super English," a comprehensive English learning service utilizing technology to provide a practical English learning and a new style of studying. The launch of Rakuten Super English marks Rakuten's entry into the English education business. (Japan Today)