TAIPEI (The China Post) – The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA, 外交部) said Tuesday that Japanese parliamentarians and government officials would welcome Taiwan’s bid to join the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).
Speaking at a regular press briefing, Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Joanne Ou (歐江安) said Taiwan should not give up any opportunity to join the CPTPP of which Japan will assume the rotating presidency next year.
Even though Japanese authorities have never formally expressed support for Taiwan’s participation in the trade agreement between Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam, the MOFA argues that Japan can certainly influence some other member countries if it openly expresses its support.
According to Ou, MOFA offices abroad will make use of all resources, including existing bilateral economic and trade dialogue mechanism and other channels of communication, to gain support for Taiwan in the Japanese political, industrial, media and academic circles, in order to build up momentum for its participation in CPTPP.
According to the regulations, new members wishing to join the CPTPP must first complete informal consultations with all member countries and reach a consensus before formally submitting their applications.
After receiving the application, the Executive Committee will establish a working group to conduct substantive discussions and review for which a consensus decision on whether to accept a new member will require the consent of all signatories.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs recently reiterated that Taiwan is conducting informal consultations with 11 CPTPP member countries, and the attitude of each member country is reportedly “positive.”