Japan has no bumiputera policy of ethnic favoritism. Otherwise, the East Asia Forum essay "Domestic interest groups haunt Najib’s TPP campaign" on the political barriers looming in front of Prime Minister Najib Razak as regards Malaysia's participation in the Trans Pacific Partnership is a word-for-word description of the barriers before Abe Shinzo as regards Japan's participation. (Link)
My own sense is that Abe's and the Liberal Democratic Party's big tent policies transform Japan's participation in TPP negotiations into a stopgap measure, a way of keeping Japan's options open as the world's trade negotiators rush around from conclave to conclave, each fruitlessly trying to win a "best of a bad lot" deal for his or her country from out of a jumble of acronyms. (Link)
I look forward to Abe & Co. proving me wrong.