TOKYO (AP) — Japanese officials are indicating they intend to pursue the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade pact despite the U.S. withdrawal from the agreement.
In comments reported by the national broadcaster NHK on Thursday, Deputy Prime Minister Taro Aso said he believed the TPP trade talks would offer greater advantages to Japan than bilateral negotiations with the U.S.
Aso made the comments at a conference in New York City.
The remarks appeared to allude to U.S. Vice President Mike Pence's comments, after meeting Aso in Tokyo earlier this week, that the U.S. considered the TPP a "thing of the past." Pence said the Trump administration believed that only bilateral trade negotiations would yield "win-win" outcomes.
Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida, told lawmakers Thursday that Japan would focus on what's best for its own interests.