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Mar 12, 2013

[Liberal Democratic Party] View on TPP

I want the LDP to comply with at least the ISD or ISDS (Investor State Dispute Settlement) provision in the below criteria 5.
Although from the beginning I knew that the party won’t comply with the provision, I’m offering my opinion.  LDP states the criterion on the official website.
If LDP neglects or reneges on the provisions in 1 – 6 “criteria for judgment with regard to participation in TPP negotiations,” Prime Minister Abe will definitely go down in the history as a traitor to Japan.  On-line right-wingers, you understand?

Masatoshi Takeshita
March 4, 2013

English translation of LDP website: Lib Dems
View on TPP
LDP has clarified the criteria for judgment with regard to participation in TPP negotiations.

* We have not won the public understanding of TPP due to critical shortage of information on it.   Additionally, the government seems never to have made efforts to improve the situation.  Therefore, national debate on what to accept and what to protect based on national interests has not sufficiently been made yet.

*Ahead of APEC in November of last year, Prime Minister Noda expressed “We will start to negotiate with the relevant countries (for participation in TPP negotiations).”  This is an intentionally ambiguous expression in consideration of domestic situation, and judging from diplomatic common sense, we have to say that negotiation will practically start with a prior consultation.

*There are many conceivable options and processes on the Asia-Pacific economic partnership (e.g. ASEAN+3/+6).  Our party has also shared the need to create such partnership with relevant countries and domestic groups.  Additionally, it is necessary to steadily promote the Japan-EU economic partnership and the Japan-China/Korea partnership.

*Needless to say, it is necessary to further strengthen economic ties with the U.S. so that Asia will maintain a position as global economic growth center.  Our country should take the initiative in promoting economic development in Asia-Pacific areas including the U.S.

*In consideration of these, our party will clarify the criteria for judgment with regard to participation in TPP negotiations.
Criteria for judgment with regard to participation in TPP talks

1.     As long as the government insists on the premise of “abolition of tariffs without exceptions,” LDP will oppose to any negotiations.
2.     We will never accept any numerical targets for industrial products including automobiles, which are inconsistent with the idea of free trade.
3.     We will protect the universal healthcare system.
4.     We will protect food safety standards.
5.     We will never agree on ISD (Note) which is threatened to infringe our national sovereignty.
6.     We will take into consideration national characteristics of government procurement and financial services.

ISD provision – Provision that in case that any detrimental situation should occur due to a discriminatory policy of a foreign government, the corporation in question, Investor, will be granted with the right to Dispute with the other State over compensation for damage caused by discrimination.  There is a possibility that abuse of this provision will make the Investor take legal action against regulations on social security, food safety and environmental conservation established by the government and local municipalities.


Our party will strongly urge the government to comply with the above criteria for judgment so that the government may never repeat easily compromising on the conditions for participating in negotiations behind the people’s backs while lying to them just the same as in November.

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