The President and Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda had a good discussion today on a range of issues, including APEC and the upcoming East Asia Summit, and next steps on Futenma relocation. The leaders also talked about Japan's interest in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement. Prime Minister Noda noted that he had decided to begin consultations with TPP members, with an eye to joining the TPP negotiations. The President welcomed that important announcement and Japan's interest in the TPP agreement, noting that eliminating the barriers to trade between our two countries could provide an historic opportunity to deepen our economic relationship, as well as strengthen Japan's ties with some of its closest partners in the region. The President noted that all TPP countries need to be prepared to meet the agreement's high standards, and he welcomed Prime Minister Noda's statement that he would put all goods, as well as services, on the negotiating table for trade liberalization. The President noted that he would instruct USTR Kirk to begin the domestic process of considering Japan's candidacy, including consultations with Congress and with U.S. stakeholders on specific issues of concern in the agricultural, services and manufacturing sectors, to include non-tariff measures. Prime Minister Noda also explained the steps he had taken to begin to review Japan's beef import restrictions and expand market access for U.S. beef. The President welcomed these initial measures, and noted the importance of resolving this longstanding issue based on science. We are encouraged by the quick steps being taken by Prime Minister Noda and look forward to working closely with him on these initiatives.