[TOKYO] Japan's top government spokesman said on Saturday he desired the swift passage of a US bill that is part of a package central to President Barack Obama's push for a Pacific Rim trade pact.
Democrats in the US House of Representatives on Friday disregarded Obama's personal pleas and teamed up with Republicans to overwhelmingly defeat the TAA programme that helps American workers who lose their jobs as a result of trade deals.
"We would like to see the trade adjustment assistance (TAA) bill passed as soon as possible," Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga told reporters in Tokyo.
The House narrowly approved a separate measure to give Obama"fast-track" authority to negotiate the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal. Both measures are included in one bill and both need to be approved before the legislation can clear the House.
The Japanese government sees a successful TPP agreement as a key part of its initiative to revive the country's economic fortunes.