Economic Revitalization Minister Akira Amari says if the Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade talks fail to reach a broad agreement by the end of this year, the talks will continue for a long time.
In an interview with NHK and other media, Amari said on Friday he aims to quickly conclude bilateral talks with the US on tariffs and other issues. He said these will affect the TPP talks overall.
Amari said a broad agreement on TPP needs to be reached by the year-end as next year the United States will begin focusing on the 2016 presidential election.
He said the longer the TPP talks drag on after this year, the risk for the talks to drift would become higher.
Amari added that unless Japan and the US reach an agreement, the 12 nations involved in the TPP talks are unlikely to reach a broad agreement.
He said if they aim for an agreement in November this year, Japan and the US would have to reach a ministerial-level agreement between late this month and early next month.
Amari indicated that he aims to quickly settle the difficult issues between Japan and the US, including tariffs involving 5 farm products.
Regarding a growth strategy to revive the Japanese economy, Amari indicated he is formulating a plan to look into measures to enhance corporate profits.
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