Negotiation talks on TPP, or Trans-Pacific Partnership, scheme are going on toward its conclusion scheduled in the end of the year as negotiators are bound with rigorous restrictions to keep discussions in the meetings confidential. A deal will close, though people remain untold. Such developments should be stopped. It is necessary to enhance people's consensus against TPP and disclose its unpopular nature.
LET'S STRENGTHEN PEOPLE'S CONSENSUS AGAINST TPP NEGOTIATIONS
TPP negotiation attracts people's attention and arouses arguments. The government of Japan is to reach an accord behind the closed door, which is undemocratic and hinders interests of people. No negotiation is more secretive than that of TPP.
Japan joined the free trade scheme at a round held in Malaysia on July 23, but what they have negotiated to today has totally been classified.
Reminds us another WTO falsification
Secrecy is tightly kept because the Japanese government concluded Agreement on Protection of Secret with TPP member nations without letting people know about the treaty. This fact itself contradicts a government pledge that it would try to disclose as much information as possible that could be obtained during the course of negotiation.
The government should have rejected a deal when it was imposed with obligation to be confidential. And if this option had not been accepted, it should have retreated from the TPP scheme.
This attitude of government reminds us of falsification made at the time of liberalization of rice in 1995 in the WTO. The government, though it insisted its will against liberalization of the staple due to firm objection of people and declared that 'no single grain of rice should enter Japan', consequently, agreed to liberalization.
Visiting members to Brunei of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party's Association to Protect National Interests within TPP expressed dissatisfaction and told they could not afford to support the government if duty of confidentiality binds them until the final stage of negotiation.
A nondisclosure agreement must be abandoned, because it is anti-people and anti-democracy. The talks must be transparent.
Negotiation stretches broad areas
The negotiation table will be tenser and tighter before yearend.
Areas are wide, including; each nation's exceptional items, for Japan raising liberalization ratio to the full extent and excluding the five key items (market access), the ISD (Investor-State Dispute) issue (investment) in which a private company can accuse government or municipality of its aid and special treatment, extension of patent period that may cause a surge of medical goods (intellectual property), participation of foreign capitals in Japan's domestic schemes of postal savings, life and non-life insurances and elderly care insurance (financial services), growing medical treatment without insurance coverage that will destroy the national health insurance (medical service), issues of BSE, post-harvest chemical use and indication of GM products (environment) and removal of regulations to favor state enterprises. Each stakeholder group will face harsh negotiation.
TPP - Representative of big transnational corporations
Government-level negotiation goes on as if it represented interests of each nation and each people. But in fact it is a proxy war to assure more profits to big transnational corporations as you see in the facts of liberalization of investment, the ISD provision and secrecy.
The key is to let the government of Japan behave firmly in protecting interests of nation and people. To this aim people's consensus against TPP should be strengthened.
It is also necessary to disclose negotiations held behind the closed door to let people oppose the ISD provision, defend the national health insurance and secure well-balanced ways of agricultural development with priority given to safety and security. We, people of Japan, must struggle against transnational corporations in solidarity with peoples in the developing nations.
September 17, 2013