Japan's trade and farm ministers on Tuesday cancelled their planned trip to India for a crucial round of WTO talks this week after the Liberal Democratic Party-led government was vanquished in Sunday's general elections.
India had invited Japanese Economy, Trade and Industry Minister Toshihiro Nikai and Agriculture and Forestry and Fisheries Minister Shigeru Ishiba to participate in the informal ministerial meeting in New Delhi on Thursday and Friday as part of efforts to revitalise the WTO's stalled Doha Round of global trade liberalisation talks.
The Japanese government will now dispatch to the meeting senior ministry officials, including vice trade minister Hiroyuki Ishige, Kyodo news agency reported.
Nikai and Ishiba, who were re-elected on Sunday, will remain in office until the victorious opposition DPJ forms a new government, widely expected to take place in mid-September.
"It is not appropriate for me to go (to the meeting) given the change of government," Ishiba told reporters.
The current Cabinet, comprising LDP lawmakers, is expected to resign later this month when the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) will form a new government after it won the House of Representatives election by a landslide.
The DPJ won 308 seats in the 480-member lower house in Sunday's election, giving it a powerful mandate for change.