WASHINGTON — February 7, 2012 — Today, the United States and Japan held a senior-level bilateral
consultation on Japan’s interest in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations. The meeting
was co-chaired by Wendy Cutler, Assistant U.S. Trade Representative for Japan, Korea and APEC
Affairs, and by Takeshi Yagi, Director General for Economic Affairs of Japan’s Foreign Ministry,
and included the participation of representatives of other U.S. and Japanese Government agencies.
Today’s meeting was the first official bilateral consultation with Japan following the November
2011 announcement by Prime Minister Noda expressing Japan’s intention to begin consultations with
TPP countries toward joining the TPP negotiations.
In the meeting, Japanese officials delivered a report on the status of its domestic
consultations on TPP as well as an update on Japan’s recent consultations with other TPP member
countries. U.S. officials provided an update on the status of the TPP negotiations. U.S. officials
also summarized and highlighted an array of general and specific issues raised by stakeholders in
response to a recent Federal Register request for comment, which is one element of the United
States’ ongoing domestic consultation process to assess Japan’s expression of interest in the TPP.
These stakeholder comments included a range of sector-specific issues in the insurance,
agriculture, and automotive sectors, among others, in addition to cross-sectoral issues. Japanese
officials underscored the Japanese Government’s readiness to engage with the United States on a
range of issues going forward.
As a next step, both Governments agreed to hold a follow-up meeting at the working level on
February 21-22 in Washington, D.C., as the consultative process continues.
Posted on February 17, 2012