Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said Friday that Japan wants to take part in talks aimed at forging a huge free trade agreement that could involve 40 percent of the world's economy.
"I have decided to join negotiations for the TPP, the Trans-Pacific Partnership," Abe told a news conference. "The vast Pacific Ocean is becoming an inland sea for a huge economic bloc."
"What the TPP is aiming to achieve is to make the Pacific Ocean a sea where goods, services and investment are freely exchanged.
"A huge economic bloc that would account for roughly a third of the world economy is about to begin."