Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda said Saturday that his ruling Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) will add Japan's participation in the Trans-Pacific Partnership ( TPP) free trade talks in its manifesto for the next general election, Kyodo News reported.
"We will simultaneously pursue the TPP and the free trade agreement of Japan, China and South Korea, and this stance will be included in our manifesto," Noda told reporters in city of Fukuoka. Noda was on an inspection tour to the southwestern Japanese city.
However, Noda said his party has not come up with any specifics about an announcement of Japan's participation in the U.S.-led trade negotiations.
"We're making arrangements" on the TPP issue..."We need to present our view to the public," Noda said.
The Japanese leader is facing staunch opposition to joining the TPP talks from Japanese agricultural lobbies, even some members of his own party. Meanwhile, Japan's main opposition Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) is cautious about allowing the country to join the TPP negotiations.
As some DPJ members oppose participation in the TPP talks, Noda 's remarks may provoke some defections in the run-up to the House of Representatives election, which must be held by next summer, Kyodo quoted lawmakers and pundits as saying.
Japan has been holding preliminary talks with nations involved in the multilateral negotiations. However, it has yet to make an official announcement on its participation in the face of opposition from the farming sector, which fears an influx of cheaper produce from overseas under lowered tariffs.