While the TPP 11 reached a broad agreement on the trade pact without the U.S. at their ministerial meeting in November, they failed to hold a summit meeting due to Canada’s objection. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who lost face because of this, indicated “strong displeasure,” according to an aide. This has resulted in an unusual situation rendering the Diet’s ratification of the ACSA (Acquisition and Crossing Servicing Agreement) the Japanese government is concluding with Canada uncertain.
At the final phase of TPP negotiations, Canada toughened its stance because the other TPP participants rejected its request for special treatment of its cultural policies. It is now expected to be excluded from the signing of the TPP agreement in early 2018.
A Liberal Democratic Party source said that Abe was “enraged and disappointed” by Canada’s dissent. In light of this, the Foreign Ministry and the Defense Ministry shelved the ACSA that was supposed to be submitted to the Diet in the extraordinary Diet session last fall or the regular Diet session this year in deference to the Prime Minister.
ACSA is an agreement on the sharing of supplies and duties by armed forces during UN peacekeeping operations (PKO), disaster relief missions, and so forth. Canada has a long history of contributing to PKO. Such an irresponsible response from Japan is unworthy of the Abe administration’s slogan of “proactive pacifism.”