21 Apr 2013

TPP countries accept Japan's entry into talks

12:17 pm on 21 April 2013

Countries in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) talks have confirmed that Japan will join the negotiation, New Zealand's Trade Minister Tim Groser says.

Mr Groser said Japan's participation would spur economic growth and mean higher living standards throughout the Asia-Pacific region.

Tim Groser.

Tim Groser. Photo: NATIONAL PARTY

The existing TPP countries - New Zealand, Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Malaysia, Mexico, Peru, Singapore, the United States and Vietnam - are negotiating what would be the world's largest regional free trade agreement.

Mr Groser said members particularly welcomed Japan's commitment to achieving the shared goal of a comprehensive, high-ambition, agreement as rapidly as possible.

A decision on Japan's participation in negotiations requires collective agreement by all current TPP participants.

Mr Groser said the existing TPP participants will complete domestic legal procedures where applicable, after which Japan will formally join and participate in the negotiations.

AAP reports the US has given Japan the green light to enter the grouping despite opposition from some US manufacturers and labour groups.