Category Archives: Trade Talks

Japan-US trade talks will not lead to a new FTA: farm minister

TOKYO, April. 21 — A recent announcement that Japan and the U.S. are to start talks on trade deals would not lead to “a new free trade agreement (FTA)”, Japanese Agriculture Minister Ken Saito has stressed. “The announcement is neither considered as a new FTA negotiation, nor as preliminary talks to launch a bilateral trade negotiation,” Saito said at an April 20 press conference. His comments came as Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and the U.S. President Donald Trump had announced in Florida after two days of meetings that ended April 18 that they will start talks on “free, fair and reciprocal trade deals.” However, the announcement has left many … Continue reading

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Japan, US trade ministers may meet after Diet ends on June 20

TOKYO, April. 25 — Japanese Economy Minister Toshimitsu Motegi and his U.S. counterpart, Robert Lighthizer, may hold the first ministerial meeting after the current session in Japan’s parliament, the Diet, ends June 20. “We have indicated to the U.S. that the meeting is likely to take place in late June and after,” Motegi said at an April 24 press conference. His comment came after Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and the U.S. President Donald Trump announced at Mar-a-Lago, the president’s resort club in Florida, that they will start talks on “free, fair and reciprocal trade deals.” They also said that Motegi and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer will head up … Continue reading

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TPP-11 nations didn’t agree to keep revised TPP secret: official

TOKYO, April 4 — Contrary to the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), whose texts won’t be made public for some time, the remaining 11 members have not been asked to sign an agreement promising to keep the revised trade pact secret. “There is no such agreement among the TPP-11 members,” Japan’s director-general for the TPP, Kazuhisa Shibuya, told the upper house agriculture committee on April 3. “But you should not be surprised that this is essentially the same as the context for practicing regular diplomacy, we do not to disclose any documents for some time,” he added. In the original TPP, the trade agreement text will be kept secret for four years … Continue reading

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Japan sets up online site for geographical indication products

TOKYO, March 31 — The agriculture ministry has set up a new site for Japan’s geographical indication (GI) products to raise awareness and appreciation for the nation’s rich culture and collective intellectual heritage. The site includes a list of registered GIs with images, movies and voices, featuring interesting facts and stories in Japan. It also includes a search engine to find GI products by types, names and regions. The site carries the services with content translating into English, Chinese and Thai. The Japanese government is working to extend its GI system globally through bilateral trade agreements. It aims to tackle food fraud, ensure quality, protect regional and traditional food industries … Continue reading

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Counterfeiting Japanese GI food products detected abroad

TOKYO, March 27 — Japanese agricultural brand names are being maliciously used in overseas food markets, an investigation by the agriculture ministry has found. The ministry conducted a year-long investigation to see if there is continuing misuse and counterfeiting at global online shopping sites that mislead consumers on the origin of 48 food products from 46 regions protected by Japan’s geographical indications (GIs). The findings revealed that there were more than 600 counterfeit food products that were produced abroad and falsely labeled with Japanese GIs. For example, there were Chinese-grown “Ichida Gaki,” a brand of persimmon produced in Iida, Nagano prefecture, and Malaysian-produced “Kishu Ume,” plums that are named after … Continue reading

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