Tokyo, Dec. 3 (Jiji Press)–The Diet, Japan’s parliament, is set to give its approval to a recently signed Japan-U.S. trade pact on Wednesday.
On Tuesday, the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee of the House of Councillors, the upper chamber of the Diet, passed it by a majority vote with support mainly from the ruling Liberal Democratic Party and its coalition partner, Komeito.
The ruling pair plans to put it to a vote at an Upper House plenary meeting on Wednesday. The House of Representatives, the lower chamber, approved the pact last month. The Japan-U.S. trade deal, signed in October, is one of the most important items for the government and the ruling coalition for the current extraordinary Diet session, which is slated to close next Monday.
Under the pact, Japan will lower its tariffs on U.S. beef and pork to the same levels as those it promised under the Trans-Pacific Partnership multilateral free trade agreement, which went into force late last year. The United States will abolish or cut tariffs on industrial products from Japan.
The Japanese and U.S. governments hope to put the bilateral pact into effect next month.
At the Upper House committee meeting, major opposition parties, including the Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan, voted against the bilateral deal, noting that the United States did not specify when it will eliminate its tariffs on Japanese automobiles and auto parts.