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Kono expresses hope to increase TPP membership, expand free trade system

  • September 13, 2018
  • , NHK
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NHK reported online that amid what the network described as the Trump administration’s increasingly “protectionist” moves, Foreign Minister Kono expressed the view that the free trade system should be expanded by increasing the membership of the TPP and urged the U.S. to return to it.  Kono is currently visiting Vietnam to attend the World Economic Forum on ASEAN. “The TPP remains the best option,” he reportedly said. “It will go into effect at the end of this year and its membership will expand further. If we have a bigger free trade system, it will be beneficial to U.S. industry.” Kono also reportedly sought understanding for Prime Minister Abe’s “Free and Open Indo-Pacific Strategy” by saying: “The safety of maritime transport is the key to global economic development. We need a maritime order based on rules and high-quality infrastructure.”

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