Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has got the backing of the parliament for ratification of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, despite US President-elect Donald Trump's plan to withdraw from the 12-nation trade pact.
Upper house lawmakers approved the TPP on Friday, heeding Abe's calls to push ahead with it despite Trump's rejection of the free-trade initiative championed by President Barack Obama.
Japan's ratification still requires Cabinet approval of needed regulatory revisions. The market opening measures required by the trade pact are seen as a way for Abe to push through difficult reforms of the agricultural and health sectors.
So far, Abe has made scant progress on a slew of reforms he proposed to help improve Japan's lagging productivity and competitiveness. Trump has vowed to take steps to exit the pact right after he takes office.