2 Sep 2009

Concern over free trade deal with Japan

5:55 pm on 2 September 2009

The New Zealand International Business Forum says it is too early to tell if the election of the Democratic Party of Japan will threaten a free trade agreement with New Zealand.

In the lead-up to the election, the Japanese Democrats pledged not to accept a free trade deal that was detrimental to their farm sector.

Forum executive director Stephen Jacobi says the new government's stance is not too dissimilar to the approach taken by the last one.

However, he says it could make progress towards a free trade agreement difficult.

The BBC reports official results of the election are still to be released. But media forecasts give the DPJ 308 of the 480 seats in the lower house to the 119 for the Liberal Democratic Party - almost an exact reversal of their previous standing.

New Zealand and Japanese officials are due to meet for a review on 30 October.