Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will postpone ratifying a huge Pacific trade deal in the current parliamentary session as immediate legislative action is likely required following the two major earthquakes in southern Japan, local media reported Wednesday.
Leaders of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) held a meeting Tuesday and agreed to delay the vote on the controversial Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade pact and related legislation, the Nikkei business daily reported.
Analysts said some LDP lawmakers wanted to avoid the ratification of the unpopular trade agreement ahead of this summer's upper house election.
The premier first wanted to ratify the trade deal even after the two major quakes hit the island of Kyushu last week, but opposition parties urged the government to give priority to rebuilding measures and securing aid for those affected by the disaster.
The twin quakes struck Kyushu on Thursday evening and early Saturday, leaving at least 47 dead and forcing more than 100,000 to leave their houses.
The TPP trade pact covers about 40 per cent of the global economy.
The deal involves 12 countries: Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, the United States and Vietnam.