The Rendon Group Snapshot Report – 29 July 2013

by TRG Alerts Admin on July 29, 2013

Each week The Rendon Group’s media analysts will focus on a different continent and a different issue affecting that continent. As always, we remain available to answer any questions you may have and to provide additional information upon request. For more information regarding The Rendon Group’s products and services, please contact us at Alert@Rendon.com or +1-202-745-4900.

Japan joins the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) free trade negotiations

This week’s snapshot focuses on Japan and its recent official joining of the TPP trade negotiations. Since Japan has joined as the 12th member of the negotiations, the proposed agreement will cover nearly 40 percent of the global economy. Japan’s participation, however, will likely further complicate the negotiations of this ambitious and comprehensive free trade agreement.

News Summary of events during the week of 22JUL – 28JUL

  • On 23JUL, Japan formally joined the negotiations for TPP in Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia, raising hopes for a free trade deal that would cover nearly 40 percent of the global economy. (AFP)
  • On 23JUL, US Representative Sander Levin urged the Obama administration to push for tough trade rules on Japan automobiles in the TPP negotiations. (Reuters)
  • On 25JUL, Japanese PM Shinzo Abe visited Malaysia for a bilateral meeting with Malaysian PM Najib Razak focuses on deepening economic ties. (Xinhua)
  • On 25JUL, about 7,000 farmers and fishermen protested Japan’s participation in the TPP negotiations in northern Sapporo City of Hokkaido. (Nippon Hōsō Kyōkai)
  • On 26JUL, US VP Joseph Biden, at a joint news conference with Singapore PM Lee Hsien Loong, welcomed Japan’s participation in the TPP negotiations and said TPP members are still aiming to reach a deal by this year. (Kyodo)
  • On 26JUL, Japanese PM Shinzo Abe and Singaporean PM Lee Hsien Loong agreed to strengthen economic ties through the TPP as well as planned to promote together the export of infrastructure systems to other countries. (Kyodo)
  • On 22AUG13, the next round of talks will take place in Brunei, in which Japan will be able to fully participate. (Kyodo)

 

Sample of Twitter Handles Regarding TPP and Japan

  • @insidetrade – Inside U.S. Trade, World Trade Online, provides coverage of trade news and developments involving or affecting the U.S.
  • @JapanRealTime – Wall Street Journal’s blog on Japan’s politics, economy and culture
  • @japantimes – English-language newspaper in Japan
  • @PacificForumPacific Forum CSIS, a branch of the Center for Strategic and International Studies based in Honolulu, Hawaii that operates as the Asia Pacific arm of the organization
  • @profLindJennifer Lind, Associate Professor of Government, Dartmouth University; focuses on East Asian international security

 

Sample of Third Party Validators Regarding TPP and Japan

Name Title Organization Quote News Article Date
Jeff Kingston Director of Asian Studies Temple University in Japan “Japan is participating in the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP), a market-opening deal that involves the United States and several smaller economies in the Asia-Pacific region. The farming lobby opposes opening Japan’s agricultural market and last year when former Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda proposed joining the TPP, he was handed a “forget about it!” petition with eleven million signatures.” Will the real Shinzo Abe emerge after Diet success? – CNN  23 July 2013

Scott Paul President Alliance for American Manufacturing “[if the administration] is serious about growing manufacturing jobs and signing a high-standard Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement, it will adopt these ideas as its bottom-line negotiating position moving forward.” Lawmaker says time is right to push Japan to open its markets, particularly for autos – AP  23 July 2013 
Osamu Takashima Head of G10 forex strategy Citigroup “Japan joining the TPP (Trans-Pacific Partnership) is very important for Japan’s relations with the US. Meanwhile, there is persistently strong opposition from US businesses against Japan’s participation. A yen’s further weakening won’t be welcomed politically while TPP negotiations are going on.” Dollar weakens in Asia after housing data boost – AFP 24 July 2013 
Jennifer Lind Associate Professor of Government Dartmouth College “The United States seeks Japanese agreement to its ambitious free-trade regime — the Trans-Pacific Partnership, or TPP. Yet a thicket of Japanese subsidies, trade barriers, and domestic political and economic interests hold Tokyo back.” OPINION: Why Caroline Kennedy is a good pick for Japan post – CNN  25 July 2013 
Nobuyasu Uemura Managing Director Capitas Consulting “This isn’t a bad deal for the Japanese government and Japan Post. This allows Japan to show its willingness to be open to discussions ahead of the TPP talks. It could lead to Japan Post selling different products to widen its offerings.” Aflac Wins Wider Access to Japan Post’s Insurance Sales Network – Bloomberg 26 July 2013

Sample of open source research conducted by TRG Analysts related to the upcoming Malian elections and international presence in the country

1. BLOG: Japan Finally Sits Down at TPP Table

Media: Japan Real Time (Wall Street Journal)
Byline: Alexander Martin
Date: 23 July 2013

Japan finally sat down for the first time at Trans-Pacific Partnership free-trade talks in Malaysia on Tuesday.

Years of national anguish over whether the trade pact would be good or bad for Japan had kept Tokyo on the fence about joining the negotiations. But now, having entered the negotiations at almost the last possible moment, Japan will have to work hard to get up to speed and try to shape the direction the pact takes.

In announcing Tokyo’s official entry to the discussions, economy minister Akira Amari, who also doubles as minister in charge of the TPP negotiations, vowed Tuesday to stand by the nation’s interests and “protect what needs to be protected, and press for what needs to be pressed.”

To continue reading, please visit: http://blogs.wsj.com/japanrealtime/2013/07/23/japan-finally-sits-down-at-tpp-table/

END

 

2. U.S.-led trade talks gain heft, complexity as Japan joins

Media: Reuters
Byline: N/A
Date: 23 July 2013

KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) – Japan joined U.S.-led trade talks on Tuesday, adding its weight to a pact that covers two-fifths of the world economy but raising further doubt over whether negotiators can pry open sensitive sectors such as farm goods and state-linked firms.

Tokyo’s entry, which takes to 12 the number of countries in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), is a key plank of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s plans to shake up Japan’s economy and return it to growth after years of stagnation.

His “Abenomics” agenda won a further mandate on Sunday when his coalition won a strong majority in a parliamentary election.

To continue reading, please visit: http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/07/23/us-japan-trade-idUSBRE96M06E20130723

END

 

3. Japan to be briefed by TPP countries day after its TPP debut

Media: Kyodo (Japan)
Byline: N/A
Date: 24 July 2013

KOTA KINABALU, Malaysia, July 24 — (Kyodo) _ Japan is expected to be briefed by other members of the Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade negotiations about the current status of the talks Wednesday, a day after becoming their 12th member.

Japan made its belated debut in the already three-year-old negotiations on Tuesday, joining the 18th round of talks, being held in Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia. The round began July 15 and ends Thursday.

With TPP countries aiming to conclude a deal by the end of the year, they are planning to help Japan catch up with the negotiations by holding sessions Wednesday afternoon and Thursday devoted to briefing Japanese negotiators on the current status of the talks.

To continue reading, please visit: http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/kyodo-news-international/130724/japan-be-briefed-tpp-countries-day-after-its-tpp-debut

END

 

4. Japan, U.S. to cooperate for early TPP pact conclusion

Media: Kyodo (Japan)
Byline: N/A
Date: 24 July 2013

WASHINGTON, July 24 — (Kyodo) _ Japanese trade minister Toshimitsu Motegi and U.S. trade chief Michael Froman agreed Wednesday to cooperate for an early conclusion of the Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade pact, Motegi said.

The Japanese minister of economy, trade and industry told a press conference that he and the U.S. trade representative discussed the need for both countries to work together to conclude a “comprehensive and high-level” TPP pact.

Motegi met with Froman in Washington after Japan formally joined the United States and 10 other countries in negotiations earlier this week aimed at concluding the U.S.-led pact.

To continue reading, please visit: http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/kyodo-news-international/130724/japan-us-cooperate-early-tpp-pact-conclusion

END

 

5. “Japan session” continues on final day of TPP talks in Malaysia

Media: Kyodo (Japan)
Byline: N/A
Date: 25 July 2013

KOTA KINABALU, Malaysia, July 25 — (Kyodo) _ Countries involved in the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade negotiations continued a session to brief Japan on Thursday, the final day of the Malaysia round in which Tokyo made a belated debut as the 12th member of the talks.

At the second and final day of the “Japan session” that began Wednesday afternoon, negotiators from the 11 prior members of the TPP talks were expected to give backgrounds and details of the negotiations of some working groups to ensure Japanese negotiators could make a smooth entry to the talks that are already over three years old.

The 18th round of talks in the Malaysian resort of Kota Kinabalu has been extended one day from the initial schedule at Japan’s request, knowing its debut would come only toward the end of the round.

To continue reading, please visit:http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/kyodo-news-international/130725/japan-session-continues-final-day-tpp-talks-malaysia

END

 

6. Negotiators conclude latest round of TPP free trade negotiations as tough issues ahead

Media: Xinhua (China)
Byline: Lin Hao
Date: 25 July 2013

KOTA KINABALU, Malaysia, July 25 (Xinhua) — The latest round of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement negotiations concluded on Thursday, as negotiators admitted that there are tough issues remained to be solved despite progress.

TOUGH TALKS AHEAD

Negotiators from Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, the United States and Vietnam gathered in Malaysia’s resort city of Kota Kinabalu for the 18th round of TPP negotiations since July 15 as they rushing towards the deadline to conclude the deal by this year.

They were later joined by Japanese officials when the country became the 12th TPP negotiating partner.

To continue reading, please visit: http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/world/2013-07/25/c_132574357.htm

END

 

7. Biden welcomes Japan in TPP, aims for deal in 2013

Media: Kyodo (Japan)
Byline: N/A
Date: 26 July 2013

SINGAPORE, July 26 — (Kyodo) _ U.S. Vice President Joseph Biden on Friday welcomed Japan’s participation for the first time in the Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade agreement and said TPP members are still aiming to reach a deal by this year.

“TPP is not only ambitious, it’s doable, and we are working hard with Singapore and others to get it done in 2013,” Biden said at a joint news confeence with Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong after their meeting here on Friday.

Both leaders also welcomed Japan’s participation in the TPP round of negotiations in Kota Kinabalu in Malaysia’s Sabah state that ended Thursday.

To continue reading, please visit: http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/kyodo-news-international/130726/biden-welcomes-japan-tpp-aims-deal-2013

END


 

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