Japan to Seek to Join Pacific Free Trade Agreement

Posted November 11th, 2011 at 8:00 am (UTC-5)
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Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda says Japan will participate in talks to join a U.S.-backed Pacific Rim free trade zone.

Mr. Noda’s announcement at a news conference Friday comes after intense debate within his ruling Liberal Democratic Party.

Mr. Noda will travel to Hawaii on Saturday for a summit of Asia-Pacific leaders, where he is expected to announce his decision to nine other members in the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership.

Big exporters say joining the zone would put them on a more equal footing with some of their rivals, while heavily-protected Japanese farmers say their livelihoods would be threatened by cheaper, imported agricultural products.