Japan's Motegi eager to work with US secretary of state nominee Blinken – The Mainichi

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Japanese Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi announces on Nov. 20, 2020. (Kyodo)

TOKYO (Kyodo) — Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi said Tuesday he is eager to work with Antony Blinken, set to be nominated as U.S. President-elect Joe Biden’s secretary of state, hailing his foreign policy experience.

“When he formally assumes office, I want to cooperate to further develop the solid Japan-U.S. relationship. I will seek to swiftly communicate with him,” Motegi told a press conference.

Blinken was one of several foreign policy and national security picks announced Monday by the president-elect. An advisor to Biden on foreign policy since 2002, he was deputy secretary of state and deputy national security adviser under the administration of Barack Obama, which lasted for eight years from January 2009.

“He has a deep insight about foreign policy and has contributed to strengthening the Japan-U.S. alliance,” Motegi said.

On China’s interest in joining the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership, the 11 members of the free trade deal will need to “thoroughly examine whether economies who have shown interest, including China, are ready to comply with the high-level standards,” he said.

During an online summit of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum on Friday, Chinese President Xi Jinping said the world’s second-biggest economy will “give positive consideration” to the idea of taking part in the trade pact.

The CPTPP entered into force in 2018 after President Donald Trump pulled the United States from the original Trans-Pacific Partnership, which was widely seen as a counterweight to China’s growing economic clout in the Asia-Pacific region.

The 11 members are Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam.

Members must adhere to liberalized rules such as a ban on preferential treatment for state-owned enterprises, and stronger intellectual property rights protection.

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