Tokyo, Dec 14 (EFE).- Japan said Tuesday it is necessary to analyze whether South Korea meets the standards to join the Comprehensive and Progressive Treaty of Trans-Pacific Partnership, after Seoul announced its intention to become a member.
“The first necessary step is to check if an economy that seeks to join the pact is fully prepared to meet the high standards of the CPTPP,” Japan’s spokesman Hirozaku Matsuno said at a Tuesday press conference.
“We will continue to follow developments related to economies interested in joining the pact, and we will respond taking into account our strategic point of view,” the spokesperson added.
South Korean Finance Minister Hong Nam-ki announced Monday that Seoul “is trying to gather public opinions and social debate around joining the CPTPP,” adding that the country seeks to join this mechanism to enhance its position in terms of trade and investment.
Japan’s reaction to Seoul’s interest differs from the welcome toward announcements made by the United Kingdom and Taiwan, and resembles the caution Tokyo showed when Beijing asked to join the pact.
Bilateral relations between Tokyo and Seoul have remained distant in recent years, mainly due to disputes related to the Japanese occupation of the Korean peninsula before World War II.
The partnership, with 11 signatory countries (Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam), is the new version of the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement, promoted by the United States under President Barack Obama and later scrapped by his successor Donald Trump. EFE