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Japan Diet pressures RP Senate to ratify Jpepa - group

GMANews.TV, Philippines

Japan Diet pressures RP Senate to ratify Jpepa - group

29 April 2008

MANILA, Philippines - Anti-Jpepa (Japan-Philippines Economic Partnership Agreement) activists on Tuesday accused the Japanese Diet of pressuring the Philippine Senate to ratify the controversial RP-Japan economic pact.

The fisher folk alliance Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (Pamalakaya) said the Japan Diet, the country’s lawmaking body, is “discreetly pressuring" the RP’s Senate to act in favor of the proposed economic treaty.

Pamalakaya national chair Fernando Hicap cited a recent event where Senator Richard Gordon, who was in Japan for an official visit two weeks ago, was deluged with questions from Diet members as to why up to now the Senate has still not ratified Jpepa despite the fact that it was signed by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and former Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi in Helsinki on September 9, 2006.

The Pamalakaya leader quoted Senator Gordon as saying, “they (Japanese lawmakers) are curious why we still have not ratified the treaty, when all other economic partnership agreements with other Asian countries have gone into force."

“Senator Gordon was told by Japanese lawmakers to have the Senate ratification of Jpepa at the most earliest possible time. It is an indication that the government of Japan will use political and diplomatic pressure to have the economic partnership agreement ratified at all cost," said Hicap, also the convener of No Deal Jpepa.

“Of course Gordon will neither oppose the observation of Japanese lawmakers nor explain the position of the broad opposition movement against Jpepa simply because this Subic-bred American boy is also in favor of Jpepa and he does not want to offend the Japanese government in the name of tin cup diplomacy", Hicap added.