LDP to support Abe on TPP talks

Liberal Democratic Party policy chief Sanae Takaichi said Sunday that if Prime Minister Shinzo Abe decides to join the talks on the U.S.-led Trans-Pacific Partnership, he will have his party’s backing because Japan still has the option of skipping the free-trade pact.

“It is possible that Japan will take part in the talks, while aiming to protect national interests, and drop out of them if Japan does not meet the requirements,” she said on a Fuji Television program. “It is for the Cabinet to decide.”

As policy chief, Takaichi is expected to draw flak for endorsing Japan’s participation because many in the party are opposed to the TPP and feel it threatens the nation’s well-protected farm industry, which traditionally backs the LDP.

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