Tuesday, June 5, 2012 (PM)
Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary (Excerpt)
- The new Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries' Comments on the TPP
REPORTER: I would like to ask a question with regard to the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). The new Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, Minister Akira Gunji, hinted today in his press conference following the Cabinet meeting that it would be difficult to determine that TPP will serve the national interest. He has expressed quite a negative view on the TPP. How do you intend to coordinate the views within the administration going forward?
CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY FUJIMURA: At this moment, we have not yet decided whether or not to participate (in the TPP) and are at the stage of holding consultations toward participation. There are a range of opinions. Let's not get ahead of ourselves. I understand the Minister said that if all tariffs were to be removed, then it would be still difficult to make a judgment, at this time, as to whether or not TPP will serve Japan's national interest, and stated that the explanations are still insufficient, and so on. The current status is that careful explanations are being provided, information is being collected, and also, discussions are taking place inside the ruling party. And if I may add, Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Gunji, too, as a member of the Noda Cabinet, fully understands Japan's present position - something that was already decided, which is that Japan has entered into consultations toward participation. This has already been confirmed.