Japan waits to deal direct with Canada on trade, not ready to abandon TPP: envoy

Mike Blanchfield, The Canadian Press

Published Sunday, November 27, 2016 2:23PM EST

OTTAWA — Japan wants Canada to join the fight against rising American protectionism, but that doesn’t extend to reviving its own direct trade talks with Canada, says the Japanese ambassador.

Envoy Kenjiro Monji says Japan is still determined to save the 12-country Trans-Pacific Partnership, despite president-elect Donald Trump’s vow to take the United States out of it. Japan hopes that Trump can still be persuaded to back off from his opposition to TPP before his Jan. 20 inauguration.

Japan and Canada hoped to deepen their economic ties through their joint membership in the massive Pacific Rim trade deal that would have brought together 40 per cent of the world’s economy.

Canada has for years set its sights on increasing trade with Japan, the world’s third-largest economy, but the two countries set aside work on a bilateral trade agreement in 2014 as the TPP …