Peter A. Petri
Brandeis University, Senior Fellow at the East-West Center, and member of the US Asia Pacific Council
This article appeared in Nihon Keizai Shimbun, November 8, 2010 (in Japanese)
The intense debate in the Democratic Party of Japan—on whether Japan should join the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade negotiations, an initiative spanning nine countries on both sides of the Pacific, including the United States—has far-reaching implications not just for Japan but for the region and the world.
Many of us in the United States would warmly welcome a positive Japanese decision. By joining the TPP effort, Japan would reenergize the vision of a truly integrated Asia-Pacific economy, as proposed by the leaders of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum in Bogor, Indonesia in 1994.
That beautiful, historic vision remains compelling: it’s hard to imagine a peaceful, prosperous world without a vibrant Asia-Pacific economy at its center. Yet, as leaders gather in Yokohama for the APEC summit this month, economic cooperation in the Pacific is more troubled than it has been for years.