Business & Economy

Japan approves of Taiwan’s CPTPP membership bid

Tokyo, Sep 24 (EFE).- Japan said Friday it sees no obstacles for Taiwan to join the Progressive and Comprehensive Agreement for the Trans-Pacific Partnership, adding that the island is “a very important partner” for Tokyo with shared values.

The Japanese welcomed the formal request presented Wednesday by Taiwan to join the multilateral agreement.

“We consider Taiwan a very important partner with whom we share fundamental values ??such as freedom, democracy, basic human rights and the rule of law,” Japan’s Economy Minister Yasutoshi Nishimura said at a Friday press conference.

Japan said Taiwan complies with the legal assumptions to join because the treaty “stipulates that countries and separate customs territories can join,” according to government Spokesman Katsunobu Kato.

Kato stressed the need to examine whether Taiwan is prepared to comply with the “high-level rules” on market access and other points of the treaty that integrates Japan and a dozen other countries.

Taiwanese trade representative John Deng said one of the main obstacles that Taiwan will have to face in joining the pact is the ban on the import of Japanese products from five Japanese prefectures as a result of the 2011 nuclear disaster.

Japan’s positive reaction to Taiwan’s request contrasts with its reaction last week when China also formally requested to join the partnership, as they questioned whether Beijing could meet the requirements set by the multilateral pact.

Beijing “categorically” opposed Taiwan’s incorporation Friday, as it claims the island’s sovereignty in line with its “One China” principle.

The partnership represents 13.4 percent of world GDP and includes Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam.

The trade agreement entered into force in December 2018, integrated by these same nations and replacing the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a pact between those 11 countries and the United States until former President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw from it in 2017.

Other countries such as South Korea and Thailand have also asked to join the treaty, designed to reduce tariffs on agricultural and industrial products and promote investment and digital trade in the pacific region, while the United Kingdom has already started the formal membership process.

New memberships must be approved by all founding countries. EFE


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