Japan’s next government, which is likely to be led by Shinzo Abe as prime minister, has suggested it may join a US-backed Pacific-wide free-trade deal, a report said yesterday.
Tokyo has previously shown interest in joining the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), but remained non-committal in the face of fierce opposition from its cosseted farming industry.
Participation by the world’s third-largest economy would give a shot in the arm to a pact seen as a key plank of US President Barack Obama’s “pivot to Asia,” and a counterbalance to China’s rising regional clout.
Referring to the possibility of joining the TPP, Abe’s Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) and its junior coalition partner, the New Komeito Party, “will pursue the best path that would serve Japan’s national interest,” they said in their final coalition agreement, the Asahi Shimbun reported.
The coalition, which is due to take office officially tomorrow, also agreed on promoting other free-trade frameworks, it said.
The comment contains a more positive note on participation in the TPP compared with the LDP and New Komeito Party’s election pledges before the Dec. 16 poll that brought Abe a landslide victory.
In an apparent move to garner farmers’ votes, the LDP had said during the election campaign it “opposes participation as long as joining the pact requires preconditions of abolishing tariffs without exception.”
The New Komeito Party had also taken a cautious stance on early participation in the trade pact.
The day after Abe’s poll victory, Japan’s major business lobby, Keidanren, urged Abe to join the trade talks “at an early date.”
“We urge the new government to participate in the negotiations of the TPP at an early date, as we have no time to waste on the issue,” Keidanren chairman Hiromasa Yonekura said in a statement.
Business lobbies say Japan’s export-oriented economy would be a major beneficiary of the promotion of a global multilateral free-trade system.
Separately, the yen dipped against the US dollar and the euro in Asian trade yesterday as Abe stepped up pressure on the Bank of Japan to set a 2 percent inflation target.
He told Fuji Television the bank’s policy board must back his proposed 2 percent inflation goal next month and warned failure to do so would mean he would amend the law that sets out its duties and guarantees its independence.
The market has welcomed his rhetoric, sending the yen lower and boosting the Nikkei index.
In Asian trade the euro bought ￥111.19, compared with ￥110.05 late on Friday in New York, while it was also at US$1.3178 from US$1.3181.
The US dollar fetched ￥84.35 up from ￥84.25.
“The yen is finding sellers, even in thin holiday trade,” said Jason Hughes, head of premium client management for IG Markets Singapore.
“The changes in political circles in Japan mean we will see a more aggressive stance in weakening [the yen],” he said.
INEXPENSIVE POWER: Group chairman Gautam Adani said 70% of the investment would go into energy transition, with a focus on green hydrogen India’s Adani Group is to invest more than US$100 billion over the next decade, most of it in the energy transition business, chairman Gautam Adani said yesterday, as the ports-to-energy conglomerate accelerates an already aggressive expansion plan. After founding the group in 1988 as a commodities trading business, the 60-year-old has ventured into multiple sectors, mainly in the infrastructure space and in line with the priorities of the government of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. “As a group, we will invest over US$100 billion of capital in the next decade,” Adani, the world’s second-richest person, told the Forbes Global CEO Conference in
PRICE POINT: While overall demand has lagged expectations, higher-priced iPhone 14 Pro models appear to attract more attention than entry-level versions, sources said Apple Inc is backing off plans to increase production of its new iPhones this year after an anticipated surge in demand failed to materialize, people familiar with the matter said. The Cupertino, California-based company has told suppliers to pull back from efforts to increase assembly of the iPhone 14 product family by as many as 6 million units in the second half of this year, said the people, asking not to be named as the plans are not public. Instead, the company would aim to produce 90 million handsets for the period, about the same level as in the second half
Foxconn Technology Group (富士康科技集團) is to invest US$1.75 million in a joint venture with PT Indika Energy Tbk to explore commercial electric vehicle (EV) and electric battery business opportunities in Indonesia, the Taipei-based company said yesterday. With the investment, Foxconn would hold a 40 percent stake in the joint venture, PT Foxconn Indika Motor, while PT Indika would own 60 percent. The collaboration is an extension of a memorandum of understanding signed in January by Indika Energy, Foxconn, Gogoro Inc (睿能創意) and others aiming to build an electric vehicle supply chain in Southeast Asia’s biggest economy. Gogoro, in which Foxconn owns a 0.76
COLD BENDING: Innolux plans to boost contribution from vehicle displays to 50 percent of overall revenue from 12 percent in the second quarter of this year Innolux Corp (群創) is deepening its partnership with the US-based Corning Inc in the production of cockpit displays through a subsidiary, as it pushes ahead with transformation efforts to fuel growth. Singapore-based CarUX Technology Pte Ltd (群豐駿科技), a vehicle display maker fully owned by Innolux, would incorporate Corning’s cold-bending technology into its large curved vehicle displays, Innolux said in a statement yesterday. CarUX and Corning are expanding their collaboration from automotive glass substrates to glass substrate protection solutions, as they seek to build supply chain ecosystems to generate greater industrial synergies, CarUX said in the statement. With Corning’s ColdForm technology, a glass cover