Japan's Abe reaffirms conviction that TPP benefits Asia-Pacific

Japan top spokesman denies PM involved in another school scandal

New Zealand, one of the four members of the original TPP, has taken "an active role in talking to the other 10 countries to test their will and interest in moving forward with TPP 11" since the USA pulled out, English said. "We got better than I'd expected", he said.

Mr Abe said Japan and New Zealand had agreed to take a firm and resolute response against the nuclear and missile development and provocation by Pyongyang.

Ironically, the concessions on the way drug agency Pharmac operates were made to make the 12-nation trade deal more palatable to the US.

"As the flagbearers of free trade. we will aim at early realisation of TPP and early conclusion of RCEP", he said at the joint media conference.

Even with America out of the picture, "if we can have a trade agreement that engages. the Japanese economy and we can continue the dynamism of more free trade in the region, then we're all going to benefit economically", according to English.

"If TPP was to go ahead in its current form they and other countries who aren't part of TPP as it was originally written would find some benefit", McClay said.

"But everyone will come to see that getting it implemented can happen only if there isn't a renegotiation". The country is prepared to accept the "terms of the agreement as they were negotiated so we can move forward", he pledged.

"At this time of global uncertainty, it's more important than ever for outward looking trading countries like New Zealand and Japan, who stated their principles clearly, to demonstrate our commitment to worldwide trade and to regional economic integration".

New Zealand would preferences on how the text could be better.

But Auckland University law professor Jane Kelsey, a strong opponent of the TPP, this week said the existing text has "all the toxic rules the U.S. insisted on that undermine affordable medicines, grant foreign investors special rights to enforce offshore, prohibit requirements for data to be held onshore, and more". He is in Tokyo for talks with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

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