Category Archives: Trade Talks

Japan’s farm minister meets Hong Kong leader on import bans

HONG KONG, Aug. 17 — Japan’s Agriculture Minister Ken Saito has met Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam and her key officials, urging them to lift a ban on Japanese food imports imposed after the Fukushima nuclear power plant accident in 2011. In the Aug. 16 meeting with the Hong Kong’s leader, Saito explained that extensive monitoring has ensured that exported foods are within radionuclide concentration limits. He asked Lam to ease and lift the import ban based on the scientific evidence Japan has. He also persuaded her to make a State visit to Japan. Hong Kong is the largest export market for Japanese seafood and agriculture products, making up … Continue reading

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Japan may propose to slash farm market access in TPP-11 talks

TOKYO, Aug. 16 — Japan was likely to put at least two agricultural proposals on the table when 11 members of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) were to meet in Australia on Aug. 28-30. The first is an indefinite scheme that scales back agricultural market access, and the second a change in the special safeguard (SSG) for beef imports, until the United States returns to the TPP, informed sources have said. The TPP deal was reached in October 2015 when 12 countries, including the U.S., resolved outstanding issues such as agricultural market access. But the administration of President Donald Trump pulled the U.S. out of the TPP within a day of … Continue reading

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Economic revitalization minister says revisions to the TPP agreement would be minimal

TOKYO, Aug. 10 – Toshimitsu Motegi, economic revitalization minister in charge of measures related to trade agreements, said in a group interview on Aug. 9 with The Japan Agricultural News and other media outlets that revisions to the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement, which the United States has withdrawn from, will be kept to “the minimum necessary.” Regarding the economic partnership agreement between Japan and the European Union, Motegi said the government will take all the necessary measures to promote expansion of Japan’s agricultural exports and maintain domestic production of important farm products – namely rice, wheat, beef and pork, dairy products and sugar. Q. By when do you want the 11 TPP … Continue reading

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【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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