Monday, July 28, 2014

México/Japan: Japanese PM Abe, First Lady Conclude First of Four Visits to Amerícas

According to The Latin American Tribune, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe concluded the PM's visit on Sunday (July 27) to México, where he and President Enrique Peña Nieto agreed to complete the negotiations for the 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).

Foreign Relations Secretary José Antonio Meade saw Abe off at the Mexico City International Airport.

Abe, Peña Nieto and their wives, Akie Abe and Angelica Rivera, visited the Teotihuacan Archaeological Zone on Saturday (July 26).

The Japanese leader and the Mexican president agreed on Friday to work together to get the TPP signed as soon as possible.

The TPP negotiations involve Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, México, New Zealand, Perú, Singapore, the US and Vietnam have hit a snag due, in large part, due to the Japanese government’s desire to maintain barriers on farm imports.

The two leaders presided over the signing of 14 cooperation agreements in the oil, education, health and agricultural sectors, and the areas of environmental protection and renewable-energy promotion.

COMMENT: THE PM and Peña Nieto also agreed to promote Japanese cooperation with the Pacific Alliance, an organization that includes México, Colombia, Chile and Perú among its members.

Both leaders pledged to continue to review the bilateral Economic Association Agreement that México and Japan signed a decade ago.

Japan is México’s fourth-largest trade partner overall and the second-biggest in Asia after China. 

More than 800 Japanese companies have set up operations in México, with 20% arriving just in the past two years.

México is PM Abe’s first stop on a tour of Latin America that will also take him to Trinidad and Tobago, Colombia, Chile and Brazil.