China-led bank adds urgency to Japan’s pursuit of TPP deal

Peace and Freedom

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By Linda Sieg
Reuters

TOKYO —China’s drive to create a Beijing-led Asian development bank seen as a threat to U.S. and Japanese regional clout is adding to a sense of urgency among Japanese officials keen to get a 12-nation pan-Pacific trade pact off the ground.

Japan hopes the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) will help anchor ally Washington in Asia and create a rule-based regime that would eventually draw in China. Beijing, for its part, is seeking to reshape Asia’s economic architecture with institutions such as the new Asia Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB).

“The strategic value is what we see in TPP – to be part of the team,” said a Japanese government source familiar with the talks, noting Prime Minister Shinzo Abe took a political risk by putting the sensitive farm sector on the table to join.

“If AIIB goes ahead and TPP fails …. perception-wise it will hurt in the…

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