Now there is a classic move. Not only snookering the opposite side but getting the opposite side to apologize for getting snookered.
On the domestic side, the anti-TPP forces, which include all the opposition parties, the government's coalition partner, the agriculture and food production sectors (the bloody Central Union of Agricultural Cooperatives collected, in only a matter of weeks, 11 million signatures protesting Japan's participation in the TPP -- in a country where there are no more than 2 million farmers), the Japan Medical Association, the Consumers Union of Japan and half the ruling Democratic Party of Japan's Diet membership, are all declaring victory for the Prime Minister's proposal to participate in talks without commitment (sort of like dating, but not going steady, on a national scale).
Just how long this salutary state of affairs lasts, once the PM returns from his Asia-Pacific
The anti-TPP forces inside the DPJ have been mollified, at least according to the statements made by their leader Yamada Masahiko (ja). However, the PM will have to explain the meaning of his words fully to a joint congress of the DPJ caucus before heading off the ASEAN+3 meeting.
The opposition meanwhile, after having put every bit of its energy and credibility into stopping the prime minister from discussing the TPP at the APEC conference, has to parse out whether or not it succeeded -- but not in such a way as to interfere with with the passage of the third supplementary budget, which is slated for a House of Representatives vote sometime this month, despite the PM's being away from Japan an inordinate amount of time. They also have to worry about not jamming up the committee meetings on the enabling legislation for the third supplementary budget, which also need passage through the Diet before it recesses on December 9.
Just an aside, but from the looks of the calendar, the People's New Party will be continuing its role of "always the bridesmaid but never the bride" as regards its raison d'être, the counter-reformation of the Post Office. It is hard not to believe that the constant failure of the DPJ-led government to pass the PNP's postal reform rollback has not becoming a standing joke in the halls of the Diet.
Later - This comes courtesey Corey Wallace: Toronto's Globe and Mail bought into the misunderstanding of the Japanese government's true position vis-a-vis the TPP, it used Japan as the counterexample to the Canadian government's protectionism.
I would laugh but is just too sad.