Trump wants Japan to reduce trade surplus with US

TOKYO, Nov. 7 — U.S. President Donald Trump has been calling on Japan to reduce its trade surplus with the United States, blaming his country’s trade deficit on unfair trade deals between the two. Japan’s Prime minister Shinzo Abe met Trump on Nov. 6 in Tokyo, the first destination of the president’s Asia trip, to discuss primarily North Korea and trade. Both have agreed to accelerate engagement on trade through the ongoing Japan-U.S. Economic Dialogue between Deputy Prime Minister Taro Aso and Vice President Mike Pence, Japanese government officials explained. But during the meeting, Trump didn’t ask Abe to launch bilateral trade negotiations with the U.S., they said. Speaking at … Continue reading

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Liberal Democratic Party lawmakers experience rice harvesting

LDP Secretary-General Toshihiro Nikai (center) experiences rice harvesting with a binder in Ome, Tokyo, on Nov. 4. TOKYO, Nov. 5 – Twelve Liberal Democratic Party lawmakers participated in a rice harvesting event on Nov. 4 held in the city of Ome, western Tokyo. The event was part of a project proposed by LDP Secretary-General Toshihiro Nikai to let LDP lawmakers experience rice cultivation. Under the project, Kinuhikari brand rice and glutinous rice seedlings were planted on a 10-are paddy in June. Around 60 people attended the event, including Nikai, Hiroshi Moriyama, the LDP’s Diet affairs chief, and Tetsuro Nomura, head of the party’s agriculture and forestry division. “We can’t speak … Continue reading

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Beef imports to Japan up in September; Rise in US shipments

TOKYO, Nov. 4 — Japan’s beef imports grew for a second straight month in September, despite Tokyo’s introduction of the World Trade Organization (WTO) special safeguard measures, data from the finance ministry has showed. Overall beef imports to Japan surged 44% to 60,849 metric tons in September, compared with the same month a year earlier. That was the biggest rise since July 2013. Frozen beef imports from the United States rose 21% to 10,405 metric tons in September from a year earlier, even after the Japanese government raised the tariff on imported frozen beef to 50 percent from 38.5 percent on Aug. 1. Australian frozen beef imports in September jumped … Continue reading

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Japan looks to expand online sales of cooked rice in China

TOKYO, Oct. 30 — A marketer of Japanese-grown rice is to expand online sales of cooked rice packs to China, aiming to capitalize on Chinese consumer spending power in its fast-growing e-commerce market. ZEN-NOH Pearl Rice Corp., the marketing arm specializing Japanese-grown rice of the country’s largest agricultural cooperative, has begun selling cooked rice packs at Wandou. An online shopping platform for Chinese consumers, Wandou is operated by online seller and trader Inagora, based in Tokyo. Inagora was set up in 2014 jointly by Weng Yongbiao and Minako Yamamoto. It has created a niche in China’s growing online market, specializing in Japanese goods. Today, about 35,000 items from 190 Japanese … Continue reading

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【Column】 TPP negotiations and Tokyo Disneyland(Nov. 2)

Chief negotiators of 11 signatory countries to the Trans-Pacific Partnership held talks in Urayasu, Chiba Prefecture, in late October and early November to work out details of a new deal following withdrawal of the Unite States from the free trade pact in January. The negotiations were held at a hotel located within a stone’s throw of Tokyo Disneyland, and because it was the Halloween season, the negotiators wearing business suits ended up walking through the hotel floor filled with people dressed as Disney characters. Japanese government officials said they looked for a hotel in the whole of the main island of Japan and it was the only hotel they could … Continue reading

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