He cited Abe as saying Japan would miss its change to have any say in negotiations on the trade pact if it waited until after upper house parliamentary elections, where the TPP decision could prove a liability for the ruling party.
The Obama administration has said it hopes to wrap up negotiations by the year’s end. Including Japan is likely to slow that process.
In Washington, Democratic lawmakers presented a letter addressed to Obama raising concerns that the pact may threaten the US auto industry.
They contend that Japanese auto exports to the US could increase if the US eliminates its current 2.5 percent car tariffs and 25 percent truck tariffs.