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This website was part of a research project supported by a grant from the
School of Law at the University of Auckland to identify and critically
evaluate the potential implications of the Trans-Pacific Partnership
Agreement.
It is no longer being maintained. For updates on the TPPA from a New Zealand civil society
perspective, please head to http://www.itsourfuture.org.nz/.

Thousands rally against Japan's TPP overtures

G85July0820011 NOVEMBER 2010: Japanese media report that a crowd of over 3000 citizens protested on Wednesday against Japan's plan to initiate discussions to join the TPP at the APEC Leaders' Conference in Yokohama.

A mixture of farmers, fishermen, and agricultural officials began their rally in an open-air hall before marching through the streets of central Tokyo, chanting and bearing placards. Speakers warned that if Japan joined the TPP, its domestic agriculture, fisheries, and forestry would be wiped out.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Naoto Kan's sole coalition partner. the People's New Party, has indicated it will not approve any TPP negotiations, while the main centre-right opposition party, the Liberal Democratic Party, has also made indications his party will not support taking part in the TPP. A Japan Today article on the rally has more information.

Last Updated on Thursday, 11 November 2010 04:54
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Opportunity for registration at TPP Auckland round

auckland11 NOVEMBER 2010: As mentioned previously, New Zealand is hosting the fourth round of TPP talks from the 6th to 10th of December. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade has invited interested stakeholders to take part in the programme during the week. Two large rooms at Auckland Central's SkyCity Casino and Function Centre have been made available for presentations and networking, and registered stakeholders will also be invited to attend an evening function with negotiatiors from all nine TPP countries.

Those intereted in presentations, or with any questions about registration or the event, may contact Alison Mann at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

For registration, please click here.

Last Updated on Thursday, 11 November 2010 03:03
 
Japan's Cabinet agrees to TPP as APEC meetings open
tokyo01

8 NOVEMBER 2010: AP reports the meetings ahead of next weekend's APEC Leaders' Summit in Yokohama have commenced, just as the Japanese Cabinet has indicated a willingness to engage with TPP partners. As reported earlier, a leak of the APEC Leaders' Declaration indicated that APEC would call for 'concrete steps' toward a Free-Trade Area of the Asia-Pacific (FTAAP).

Further information on the draft has indicated it offers no time-frame or deadline for such an FTA. Other limitations may be that APEC itself is not a negotiating body, and its membership, ranging from the US to third world nations such as Papua New Guinea, is even more disparate than that of the TPP.

The Daily Yomiuri reports that the government followed the Cabinet meeting agreeing to enter into talks with TPP partners, but not being specific as to whether it actually intends to participate in the agreement. This lack of a clear stand is believed to be due to opposition to possible TPP reforms within the ruling Democratic Party of Japan itself. The Yomiuri article, reproduced below, is valuable in highlighting the tenuous domestic situation of Prime Minister Naoto Kan's government over the TPP question.

Last Updated on Sunday, 07 November 2010 23:20
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APEC to cite TPP as free-trade pathway: Draft

int-apec5 NOVEMBER 2010: An outline of a draft of the APEC Leaders' Declaration, for November's Yokohama conference, indicates that the forum will refer to a US-backed multilateral trans-Pacific free trade agreement as a 'pathway' to creating a region-wide free trade area.

The draft, obtained by Kyodo News, allegedly cites an expanded TPP agreement as a method of acheiving a Free Trade Area of the South Pacific. The draft also recommends that APEC 'incubate' that long-term goal.

Japanese proponents of free-trade and the TPP Agreement are understood to be hopeful that Japan's chairing of APEC this year, combined with the significance of committing to an developing network of agreements at the APEC leaders' meeting, would mean that the country assumed an decisive and leading position in continued talks. However, as TPPDigest has reported, the question of joining the TPP has proved divisive throughout Japanese political culture over the past month.

Last Updated on Friday, 05 November 2010 03:40
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Opposition and friction over Japan's TPP bid

naoto-kan5 NOVEMBER 2010: The ruling Japanese DPJ party may be en route for a collision course with its Prime Minister, Naoto Kan as to Japan's role in TPP negotiations, according to Nikkei.

The government will seek to win Cabinet approval next Tuesday for its basic policy on economic partnership agreements, including its position on TPP - however, some 70 lawmakers have clearly indicated their opposition, gathering at the Japanese Diet to urge a cautious approach to the pact. Representatives from rural and agricultural areas believe the tariff-abolishing requirements of a finalised TPP agreement will result in an influx of cheap agricultural products which would destroy Japan's domestic market.

The full Nikkei article follows below.

Last Updated on Friday, 05 November 2010 03:21
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Clinton visit coincides with ACTA/TPP anxiety

circuit-boards5 NOVEMBER 2010: NZ IT news site Computerworld has quoted NZ intellectual property lawyer Rick Shera as warning that that US and prospective Japanese participation in the TPP could signal a renewed attempt by by both countries to secure more stringent IT protection provisions they have not been able to secure in the latest version of the ACTA (Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement) text.

Shera believes that as the European Union presented a major obstacle to 'maximalist' IP protection in ACTA talks, the US may be using the TPP negotiations as an opportunity to circumvent opposition and set a tougher regime up among Asian nations.

The full article follows below.

 

Last Updated on Friday, 05 November 2010 02:54
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US Secretary of State visits NZ, talks trade

hillary_clinton5 NOVEMBER 2010: Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has spent the week in New Zealand, meeting with Prime Minister John Key and other senior officials. A large portion of news and attention has been devoted to the Wellington Declaration, a largely symbolic bilateral engagement documents on defence and regional issues - however the TPP has also been discussed. Key indicated to reporters that both a bilateral or multilateral deal could be discussed, but that "the fastest route through seems to be through the multilateral route and trans-Pacific partnership".

In a press conference held to coincide with the declaration, Clinton was asked about progress and timeframes for the TPP. Her response, together with Key's, falls below the break.

UPDATE: NZ trade experts have praised Clinton's brief public comments on the TPP during her visit - Radio NZ ran a feature on these on Friday morning.

Last Updated on Sunday, 07 November 2010 06:17
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