The Japanese Diet on Wednesday enacted a law to ratify the 11-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade deal, moving a step closer to completing domestic procedures.
Following the U.S. withdrawal, Japan and 10 other nations aim to put the deal into force by the end of this year. The pact takes effect after at least six member countries ratify it.
Japan still has to enact a separate bill to implement domestic measures in connection with the agreement, such as support for livestock farmers who will be exposed to competition from foreign rivals.
Japan's state minister in charge of the pact, Toshimitsu Motegi, has said he expects Japan to become the second nation to ratify the deal after Mexico, which has already completed domestic procedures.
Opposition parties oppose ratification, expressing concern about the deal's impact on domestic farmers.
The original TPP was signed by 12 countries in February 2016 but U.S. President Donald Trump pulled his country from the deal upon his inauguration in January 2017. The remaining 11 countries signed the pact renamed the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership in March.
The revised deal known as TPP 11 kept unchanged tariff-related agreements but suspended the application of 22 provisions, such as on intellectual property, that were included in the original pact at the request of the United States.
The TPP 11 members are Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam.