Category Archives: Trade Talks

【Editorial】 Don’t relax rules on WTO safeguard for farm goods(Aug. 2)

Japan’s Finance Minister Taro Aso has suggested that Tokyo may relax the rules on a special safeguard (SSG), after a surge in frozen beef imports automatically triggered the trade remedy that limits the imports for the first time in 14 years. “Some say it could prolong the timeframe of application for safeguard measure. Surely there’d be some room to revisit procedural requirements,” Aso told reporters on Aug. 01, the day the SSG took effect. This issue, as he said, is to be taken up at the U.S.-Japan Economic Dialogue, which is slated for October in Washington. Aso’s comments are the latest indication that the Japanese government’s position is flexible to … Continue reading

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Japan to impose safeguards on beef imports from August

TOKYO, July 27 — Japan is to impose a special safeguard (SSG) measure on beef imports from Aug. 01 for the first time in 14 years due to a surge in imports of frozen beef in recent months. The exception will be beef imports from countries that have a free trade agreement (FTA) with Tokyo. That means the import restriction will be applied to the United States, New Zealand and Canada, whereas Australia, Mexico and Chili maintain better terms through FTAs with Japan. Japan will raise the tariff to 50 percent from its bound tariff of 38.5 percent, which Tokyo is bound to by the World Trade Organization (WTO). The … Continue reading

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Japan publishes list of proposed GI foods in JP-EU trade deal

TOKYO, July 23 — Japan’s agriculture ministry has published a list of proposed food names that Tokyo and Brussels agreed to mutually protect under geographical indications (GI) stipulations. The move aims to help farmers from both Japan and the EU to exclusively market their own products, but which the United States may call protectionism. The proposed list includes 71 European food names such as those referring to the cheeses as “Camembert de Normandie” and “Gorgonzola”. The Japanese ministry has preceded the evaluation process, taking public comments on the proposed GIs, followed by a group of experts assessing applications, before approving those officially registered as a GI in Japan. GI is … Continue reading

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Japan Agriculture Minister meets Chinese aides on rice exports

TOKYO, July 22 — Japan’s Agriculture Minister Yuji Yamamoto discussed with key Chinese officials access to more Japanese rice in the world’s largest rice market, when he made a 3-day visit to China that ended July 21. Yamada met China’s Agriculture Vice Minister Yu Xinrong and Zhi Shuping, the head of the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine (AQSIQ), who is in charge of food safety and animal and plant health in China. Yamada asked the Chinese officials to approve new more mills and facilities certified to ship to China. So far, Japan has only one rice mill and two warehouses approved by China. He also asked the … Continue reading

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TPP-11 talks end; No progress on how to bring deal into force

HAKONE, July 14 — Senior trade officials from the 11 signatories of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) have wrapped up a two-day meeting that ended July 13 in Hakone, a lake resort near Tokyo, producing no progress on how to bring the deal into force without the United States. In May, 11 countries agreed to explore how the TPP deal is being implemented without the U.S. They now aim to reach an agreement in November when their leaders will meet on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in Hanoi, Vietnam. At the Hakone meeting, several countries asked to make changes of the deal, in which they had to … Continue reading

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