U.S. and Japanese officials have announced that Japan will not be required to reduce its tariffs on rice and other agricultural products in order to join the Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations.
However tariff levels on ag goods are part of the talks, and if Japan participates, the U.S. and Japanese governments say all goods will be subject to negotiation. Japan doesn't have to make a prior commitment to unilaterally eliminate all tariffs upon joining the negotiations - as the final outcome will be determined as part of the talks. A final decision to allow Japan into the Trans-Pacific Partnership would have to be made by all of the current TPP members.
At least one member of the House of Representatives was worried with the announcement. Michigan Democrat Sander Levin warned any agreement that includes Japan will not pass Congress unless it truly pries open that country’s farm and automotive markets.