Japan Joins Pacific-wide free trade negotiations

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will not announce whether Japan will join Pacific-wide free trade negotiations led by the United States when he visits Washington later this month for talks with President Barack Obama, government sources said Thursday.

Abe reached the decision as many members of his Liberal Democratic Party are cautious about Japan’s participation in the Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations amid strong protests from farmers, traditional supporters of the LDP, who fear a potential influx of cheap imports under free-trade agreements.

Abe told a meeting of a Diet committee on Thursday, "It is not that I must state whether Japan will join (the TPP talks) ahead of the Japan-U.S. summit."

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