Category Archives: Trade Talks

【News】Wall Street Journal article calling on Japan to import more potatoes creates a stir (May 15, 2017)

Amid the recent shortage of potatoes used to produce potato chips in Japan, a Wall Street Journal article has caused a stir by calling on the nation to increase its imports of potatoes. Japan’s imports of potatoes are controlled by quarantine inspections, but an opinion piece published by the major U.S. newspaper in late April criticized the phytosanitary issues as “unjustified import restrictions.” Some are concerned that such criticisms could lead to stronger pressure by the U.S. government on Japan to relax quarantine measures in the future bilateral economic dialogue. The article titled “Japan’s Potato Panic” says Japan’s quarantine procedure taken to prevent entry of harmful pests “was part of … Continue reading

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【News】 Opposition parties criticize Prime Minister Shinzo Abe advocating “TPP 11” without U.S. (May 9, 2017)

The Budget Committee of the House of Representatives held a meeting for extensive deliberation on “Abe Cabinet’s fundamental policy” on May 8. At the meeting, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe expressed his policy on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) that Japan will play a leading role in having the TPP free trade pact take effect without the participation of the United States, saying “We will further promote close collaboration among eleven member countries of the TPP by exercising Japan’s leadership in the Pacific Region. I do not rule out any option. I would like to discuss the best way for the TPP with leaders of its member countries.” Prime Minister Abe also … Continue reading

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【News】 “TPP 11” negotiators agree only on continuous talks on implementation of U.S.-less trade pact (May 5, 2017)

The first working level meeting of so-called TPP 11, a Trans-Pacific Partnership without the United States, was held on May 2-3 at Toronto, Canada. After the meeting, the chief Japanese negotiator for the TPP, Keiichi Katakami, told the press that TPP’s eleven member countries will continue to pursue an appropriate direction of their future talks, saying “We eleven countries could agree to move discussions forward so as not to lose the momentum of the TPP.” The Japanese government aims at making an agreement among the eleven member countries of the TPP so that the existing TPP free trade deal should take effect without overhauling the pact. Governments of Australia and … Continue reading

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【News】 Japan’s Deputy Prime Minister Aso emphasizes difference between TPP multilateral talks and Japan-U.S. bilateral negotiations (April 26, 2017)

Japanese Deputy Prime Minister Taro Aso said on April 25 his government will not guarantee the United States to offer deals similar to those agreed in negotiations on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) free trade pact if Japan decides to purse a bilateral free trade agreement with the U.S., stressing that Japan’s gains in the bilateral trade talk differ from those in multilateral negotiations. By responding to a question raised at the session of the House of Councilors’ Committee on Financial Affairs, Deputy Prime Minister Aso emphasized the Japanese stance that his administration will not respond a request on removal or cuts of import tariffs of farm products exceeding the level … Continue reading

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【News】 Japan’s farm minister Yamamoto taking cautious attitude to “eleven-nation TPP” (April 22, 2017)

Yuji Yamamoto, Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF) of Japan, told the press after the cabinet meeting on April 21 that he will take a cautious attitude toward a proposal on effectuation of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) free trade pact without the United States, which his government is aiming toward, saying “As far as I am concerned, I would like to consider this issue deliberately.” Shinzo Abe’s administration had been negative about looking to implementation of so-called “an 11-nation TPP” without the U.S., but recently changed its position because the U.S. government is unlikely to return to the TPP. MAFF’s Minister Yamamoto also pointed out that the U.S. and … Continue reading

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