Japan's Possible Entry Into the Trans-Pacific Partnership and Its Implications [April 8, 2013] [open pdf - 350KB]
From the Document: "On March 15, 2013, Prime Minister Abe announced that Japan would formally seek to participate in the negotiations to establish the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). In taking this step, Prime Minister Abe has had to confront influential domestic interests that argued against the move. Among the most vocal have been Japanese farmers, especially rice farmers, and their representatives. In his March 15 statement, Prime Minister Abe acknowledged these domestic sensitivities, but also insisted that Japan needed to take advantage of 'this last window of opportunity' to enter the negotiations, if it is to grow economically. Other Japanese business interests, including manufacturers, strongly support the TPP. The TPP would be a free trade agreement (FTA) among at least the current 11 participants--Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, the United States, and Vietnam. The United States and its TPP partners envision the agreement as 'a comprehensive, next-generation regional agreement that liberalizes trade and investment and addresses new and traditional trade issues and 21st century challenges.'"
CRS Report for Congress, R42676