Whilst Asia continues to gain in importance in the international community with its huge population and growing economies, the region also faces numerous challenges. Emerging countries such as China and India lead the rapid economic growth, but we need to ensure values and principles which constituted the basis for the peace and prosperity in the post-war world are upheld and bolstered in the region, including the rule of law, democracy and free-trade.
Although Japan has long devoted itself to the peace, stability and prosperity of the region and is determined to continue to do so, it is nonetheless obvious that we need to work with like-minded partners, not only within the region but also from other regions, including Europe. TPP is one of the efforts to promote free-trade through multilateral collaboration. Economic growth in the region should contribute to the enhancement of the post-war world order rather than its weakening.