(Nikkei: Evening, June 19, 2015 – p. 3)
At a news conference held after the cabinet meeting on June 19, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga commented on the passage of a bill granting trade promotion authority (TPA) to President Barack Obama by the U.S. House of Representatives. The TPA is a prerequisite for reaching a Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement.
Suga said: “The summit is now in sight.” He expressed his hope that the bill will be passed by Senate “as soon as possible.”
Minister for Economic and Fiscal Policy and Economic Revitalization Akira Amari also stated at a separate news conference that “this will be a catalyst for TPP.” He indicated that “while there are no serious pending issues” in the Japan-U.S. negotiations, “there are still some unresolved issues, big and small.”
Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Yoichi Miyazawa gave the following comments: “This is welcome progress. We hope the bill can be passed as soon as possible so we can go into the final phase of TPP negotiations.”
Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Yoshimasa Hayashi said: “We need to continue to watch developments in the U.S. Congress.”