Japan's Abe reaffirms conviction that TPP benefits Asia-Pacific

"For the last four years consecutively, we were able to increase the wage levels.the momentum for wage increase is being sustained", Abe said on Monday.

Speaking earlier Wednesday in front of business leaders in Tokyo, English said he hopes the TPP "if successful.would attract renewed interest from the United States" by stimulating trade and growth in the Asia-Pacific region.

Prime Minister Bill English said his talks on the TPP with Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe went better than he expected and they will both be pushing for early implementation of the agreement.

Trade officials will be asked to work on an implementation plan at a Trade Ministers' meeting in Vietnam next week, which Trade Minister Todd McClay will co-chair.

"At this time of global uncertainty, it's more important than ever for outward looking trading countries like New Zealand and Japan, who stated their principles clearly, to demonstrate our commitment to worldwide trade and to regional economic integration".

In a telephone conversation with Abe last week after his inauguration, President Moon said that many Korean people can not accept the deal emotionally, hinting at a possible move to renegotiate the deal.

New Zealand and Japan are the only countries which have ratified the deal.

"But everyone will come to see that getting it implemented can happen only if there isn't a renegotiation".

"As the flagbearers of free trade, we will maintain close cooperation and aim at early realization of TPP", Abe told a joint news conference following a summit with English.

New Zealand would preferences on how the text could be better.

Mr English said the feeling of the immediacy of the threat from North Korea ran very deep in Japan, in particular the way that that appeared to have changed in recent years under the North Korean leadership, and the speed at which they appear to be developing their technical capacity.

Like Japan, New Zealand wanted the United Nations to tighten up on its sanctions against North Korea - an issue discussed at an emergency Security Council meeting on Wednesday but which so far had not been resolved.

On Thursday, he heads to the northern island of Hokkaido before flying to Hong Kong for a round of meetings on Friday and Saturday.

  • Zachary Reyes