Nikkei reported from Washington that a visiting Keidanren delegation headed by Chairman Sakakibara met with U.S.-Japan Caucus co-chair Congressman Reichert on Wednesday. During the meeting, Sakakibara expressed hope that the U.S. will return to the TPP by saying: “It is important to create a free and open economic zone. The United States and Japan should exercise leadership to establish trade rules in the Asia-Pacific.” In reply, Reichert said: “Japan is an important partner. The world economy cannot grow without the Asia-Pacific region.”
According to the article, the delegation members separately held talks with senior Commerce Department officials and conveyed corporate Japan’s desire to maintain the current NAFTA. The USG officials stressed the need for renegotiations by saying: “Some elements are outdated and hence should be updated.” The daily added that Sakakibara’s scheduled courtesy call on Secretary Ross was cancelled at the last minute. NHK aired a similar story.