02/16/2011 Foreign and Security Policies/Trade(TPP)

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(Chairman)  Next, Mr. Tanaka, please take the podium.

(Yasuo Tanaka)  I’m Yasuo Tanaka. I’m speaking on behalf of the ruling parliamentary group of the People’s New Party and New Party Nippon. Today, I’d like to ask the prime minister about the mysteries of TPP (Trans-Pacific Partnership).
Since last fall, I have kept on saying TPP is a wolf in sheep’s clothing, Trojan horse. I believe it’s a plot to federalize Japan, to turn this independent state into a US client state of the 21st century. I’m saying this because Japan IS an established trading nation which opened up to the rest of the world long, long time ago. As I said during my representative questioning at the plenary session of the diet last month, Japan should make up for its shortcomings by changing itself for the better.

However, I see Mr. Kan experiencing a ‘Runner’s high,’ in a maniac state, and he seems to be enraptured by retrograde phrases such as ‘the 3rd opening of the country’ and ‘invasion of black ships.’  But if Japan, under the
leadership with no philosophy nor conviction, rushes into participating irrational TPP negotiations which will effectively force the immediate repeal of all tariffs on goods, services and human travel without exception, I think Japan will be destroyed. I consider this a virtual destruction of our country.

Please take a look at this pie chart, which compared GDP figures of nine TPP participating countries plus Japan. Let me explain the chart for the sake of the radio listeners. The US accounts for approximately 70 percent of the world GDP, while Japan accounts for about 20 percent. Australia accounts for 5 percent. Seven other countries: Singapore, Brunei, Chile, New Zealand, Peru, Vietnam and Malaysia: account for another 5 percent of the GDP.

Mr. Kan, the pie chart and this question had been submitted to you ahead of the time. So, let me hear your opinion.

(PM Naoto Kan) Mr. Tanaka is apparently making assumptions ahead of the time. First, with regards to TPP, we are currently in the process of gathering information and holding talks with countries concerned.

My initial concern is, over the past one plus decade, Japan has been way behind other countries like South Korea, in terms of forming economic partnership. I’m talking about various regional partnerships including FTA and EPA. TPP is one of them, which is true. But Mr. Tanaka is asking me the question just as if TPP were a done-deal and we were plotting something out of it. I’m afraid that may be misleading to the public.

There’s more. Agricultural reforms needs to be done and we need to do it well. We are not necessarily focusing on TPP alone. For instance, we are negotiating EPA with Australia. Our trade representatives are seriously involved in negotiations, trying to hammer out ways to strike a good balance. This is my understanding.

(Yasuo Tanaka) What I’m saying is that, as you can see, with TPP in place, the US will be exporting almost only to Japan while Japan will be exporting almost only to the US. Mr. Kan, you just made a wimpy statement, but Brazil, India, South Korea and China are also part of the Pacific Rim. But these countries have FTS or EPA, but NOT TPP with the US.

Here’s evidence of reality. Yesterday, the Foreign Minister called for the early resumption of EPA talks with South Korea. The Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Minister talked about the early signing of EPA with Australia. And, Mr. Kan, at 9 this morning, you praised Japan’s signing of EPA with India, which is indeed an economically independent, established trading country. You said the agreement will have a tremendous, positive impact on the economy, did you not?

Then, my question will be, why are you not ready to negotiate a fine-tuned FTA with the US just like South Korea has done. What you are doing is federalizing Japan as a US client state. I say, Japan should rather be cooperating with the US in making the world a better place. Signing TPP with the US which will virtually alienate China and other countries is tantamount to destroying our country. We can’t allow the government to sell out our country. With this note, I conclude my questioning. Thank you.

(Chairman) Thank you, Mr. Tanaka.