Japan Joining Talks on Trans-Pacific Partnership, Noda Says

In a contentious move that could make or break his government, Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda said Friday that Japan would join talks toward an ambitious pan-Pacific free trade pact. The accord would potentially open up new markets for Japanese exporters but enrage the nation’s powerful farmers, who say their livelihoods would be wiped out.

Mr. Noda is set to declare Japan’s intent at the Asia-Pacific economic summit meeting in Hawaii this weekend, where President Obama will promote the far-reaching Trans-Pacific Partnership regional trade agreement, which aims to cut import tariffs to zero. Nine governments, including those of Australia and Singapore, are involved in the discussions.

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