Japan possibly appointing deputy foreign minister as chief TPP negotiator

The government is arranging to appoint Koji Tsuruoka, deputy foreign minister in charge of economic affairs, as Japan’s chief negotiator for the Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade talks, government sources said Wednesday.

The government plans to hold the first ministerial meeting on the TPP possibly on Friday, bringing together Akira Amari, minister in charge of negotiations on the regional free trade arrangement, and other members concerned, they said.

Tsuruoka, who became deputy foreign minister last September after serving as head of the ministry’s Foreign Policy Bureau and minister at the Japanese Embassy in Indonesia, will head a team of Japanese TPP negotiators.