Category Archives: Trade Talks

Japan and EU strike new trade deal, scrapping cheese tariffs

TOKYO, July 7 — Japan and EU have secured a new trade agreement in principle, which would open up the Japanese market to EU’s key farm exports, at a time when US President Donald Trump has taken his country on the inward looking “America First” path. Announcing the agreement, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said at a press conference in Brussels on July 6, “We were able to demonstrate a strong political will to the effect that Japan and the EU keep the flag of free trade flying high amid rising protectionism. “I hope this will stimulate a debate for the early entry into force of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP),” … Continue reading

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Japanese farmers to tackle trade barriers to access EU market

TOKYO, July 9 — Despite an exclusive agricultural market access to the EU in the Japan-EU trade agreement, Japanese farmers still have to tackle non-tariff barriers (NTBs), which is crucial to unlock the potential to boost their exports such as Japanese beef, green tea and dairy products, experts say. NTB refers to restrictions that result from conditions and specific market requirements that make producers to export difficult and costly. In the agreement announced earlier this month, the EU will eliminate 98% of the tariffs on Japanese agricultural food products entering the EU, from the day one of the accord coming into force. Yet, the ability of Japanese agricultural and food … Continue reading

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【Opinion】Full support necessary for Japanese farmers under Japan-EU EPA (July 7)

[By Minoru Morita, political analyst] Japan and the European Union both had their own intentions in trying to come to a political consensus on the Japan-EU Economic Partnership Agreement. As shown in Britain’s decision to leave the EU, the EU’s idealism is on the verge of collapse, having European politicians on the ropes. To prevent other members from leaving the union, EU negotiators had to take action to expand their sales channels in the strong agriculture sector. They therefore asked for an import quota for soft cheeses and an immediate elimination of tariffs on wine. On the other hand, Japan, whose relationship with the United States has lately been unstable, … Continue reading

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Japan-EU trade negotiations dealing a blow to Japanese dairy farmers

HOKKAIDO, June 29 – As the European Union strongly calls for liberalization of Japan’s dairy market such as cheese in the negotiations for the Japan-EU Economic Partnership Agreement, dairy farmers of Hokkaido are worried that the prices of raw milk would drop, turning their investments into debts. Milk produced in Hokkaido occupies more than half of total production in Japan, and dairy farmers in the prefecture have fought to halt the decline in the nation’s milk production. However, 80 percent of milk produced in Hokkaido is used for processing, which means their produce will compete directly with products from the EU. The farmers have made efforts to maintain and strengthen … Continue reading

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“No price war!” Japanese winemakers say removing tariffs on European wines will harm agricultural industry and tourism in Nagano Prefecture

NAGANO, June 24 —  The Japan-Europe EPA talks regarding a plan to cut tariffs on European wine have emerged, raising tensions in wine producing regions in Japan. “Authentic” wines from Europe with high brand power inevitably compete with Japanese wines price wise, and an increase in European wine import may shave the demand for domestically-made alcoholic beverages such as Japanese sake and shochu (locally-distilled spirits) as well in the country with the nation drinking increasingly less alcohol. Japanese wine producers have been placing extremely high expectations on the role of Japanese wines in the development of the sixth industrialization for an increase in agricultural income. The domestic wines are already … Continue reading

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