Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono. (Photo: EPA-EFE/VNA)

Tokyo (VNA) – Japan and Thailand agreed on June 27 to foster cooperation for the accession of Thailand to the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).

According to the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono welcomed Thailand’s interest in joining the CPTPP during the talks with his Thai counterpart Don Pramudwinai. Japan is willing to work with Bangkok in this matter, he said.

Kono was in Thailand for the third ministerial of the Conference on Cooperation among East Asian Countries for Palestinian Development (CEAPAD).

The two ministers also discussed bilateral economic cooperation regional security issues, including the Korean peninsula.

The CPTPP is a comprehensive free-trade agreement signed by 11 Asia-Pacific countries in March after the withdrawal of the United States from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) after US President Donald Trump took office.

At least six member states are required to ratify the CPTPP to put it into force. The deal is expected to create one of the world’s largest free trade blocs with a combined market of 499 million people and GDP of around 10.1 trillion USD, accounting for 13.5 percent of the global GDP.

The Japanese Diet on June 13 enacted a law to ratify CPTPP, moving a step closer to complete domestic procedures, according to Kyodo news.

Japan still has to enact a separate bill to implement domestic measures in connection with the agreement, such as support for livestock farmers who will be exposed to competition from foreign rivals.

The country is expected to become the second nation to ratify the deal after Mexico, which has already completed domestic procedures.-VNA