Category Archives: Trade Talks

【News】JA group presses for keeping farm tariffs amid JP-EU talks(June 15, 2017)

Japan’s most powerful farm group is redoubling efforts to lobby the government as well as the governing Liberal Democratic Party to carve out certain sensitive products from market access commitments. The move comes as Japanese and European leaders are seeking to push through a free trade deal in Brussels early next month. The Central Union of Agricultural Cooperatives, known as Zenchu, is insisting that any deal between Japan and the EU must maintain tariffs and border measures for agricultural products that are import-sensitive, such as pork and dairy. At the same time, Zenchu is urging the government to inform of any developments in the ongoing negotiations. It says a lack … Continue reading

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【News】Prime Minister Abe instructs agriculture minister on farmers(June 14, 2017)

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has instructed Agriculture Minister Yuji Yamamoto to initiate measures to help farmers adjust to new competition from agricultural imports. His move comes as Japan and the EU are gearing up to seal a free trade deal early next month. Speaking at a regular press conference on June 13, Yamamoto told reporters that he had replied to Abe that he will fulfill his duty to protect farmers, but he declined to discuss the ongoing negotiations. Many experts believe it is an indication that Tokyo is now ready to swallow a bitter trade pill, raising alarms among Japanese farmers that it could impact them.

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【News】Ruling party’s Headquarters to work out basic policy for Japan-EU Economic Partnership Agreement (June 10, 2017)

The ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) held the first meeting of a headquarters named “Headquarters for Japan EU Economic Partnership Agreement” on June 9, which has been newly set up to cope with ongoing negotiations between Japan and the European Union, while the Japanese government is aiming at a broad agreement with EU in early July. The Headquarters plans to establish LDP’s policy on measures to be taken for possible results of the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) talks with EU. The LDP’s policy, including countermeasures against negative impacts on domestic agriculture, is to be proposed to the government by the end of June. Within the Headquarters, five groups of LDP’ … Continue reading

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【News】Economic damage by TPP in Hokkaido prefecture estimated 116.9 billion yen by regional agricultural institute (June 5, 2017)

The Hokkaido Regional Agricultural Institute has announced its latest estimate of 116.9 billion yen for an economic damage to be occurred in Hokkaido prefecture by putting the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) free trade pact into effect. The estimation has been made on the basis of the broad TPP agreement announced by its member countries in October 2015, as well as on an amount of decreases in Hokkaido agricultural, forestry and fishery production that was estimated as 59.8 billion yen by the Hokkaido prefectural government in February 2016. The total economic loss by the TPP free trade deal in Hokkaido is broken down into 72.5 billion yen, an estimated loss of the … Continue reading

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【News】Japan court rejects citizens’ claim that TPP is unconstitutional(June 8, 2017)

The Tokyo district court has dismissed a lawsuit brought by a civil society group that claims the Japanese government has violated the constitution by agreeing to the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) deal. The court on June 7 also rejected the group’s request to block the government from signing the pact, explaining this is in the realm of executive power and a civil lawsuit cannot stop it. Moreover the judge said the plaintiffs failed to state a claim that the deal undermines basic human rights, because the TPP has not yet come into force. The group of nearly 1,600 people includes farmers, workers and healthcare professionals. It filed the case against the … Continue reading

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