Most papers reported on an agreement reached yesterday by the ruling LDP and the opposition Democratic Party to put the TPP legislation to a vote in the Lower House on Friday, noting that the bills will first be approved at a Lower House committee this afternoon and then passed at a plenary session two days later. As a result, the chances are high that parliamentary approval of the regional free trade accord will be obtained during the current Diet session, which will probably be extended into early December. The dailies also said the two parties reached a consensus on enacting legislation to ratify the Paris Agreement on climate change on Friday.
In related stories, Mainichi and Nikkei wrote that there is still a wide gap between the ruling and opposition camps regarding the contents of the TPP accord even after intensive debate at the Diet for a month. The dailies claimed that the GOJ has failed to present solid ideas on how the nation’s farmers can capitalize on the free trade deal to export more produce and ease consumer anxiety about food safety being compromised as a result of the TPP. The GOJ was also reportedly unable to rebut opposition legislators’ claims on trade rules, such as the protection of intellectual property and investor-state dispute settlement provisions.