Category Archives: Trade Talks

TPP-11 nations didn’t agree to keep revised TPP secret: official

TOKYO, April 4 — Contrary to the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), whose texts won’t be made public for some time, the remaining 11 members have not been asked to sign an agreement promising to keep the revised trade pact secret. “There is no such agreement among the TPP-11 members,” Japan’s director-general for the TPP, Kazuhisa Shibuya, told the upper house agriculture committee on April 3. “But you should not be surprised that this is essentially the same as the context for practicing regular diplomacy, we do not to disclose any documents for some time,” he added. In the original TPP, the trade agreement text will be kept secret for four years … Continue reading

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Japan sets up online site for geographical indication products

TOKYO, March 31 — The agriculture ministry has set up a new site for Japan’s geographical indication (GI) products to raise awareness and appreciation for the nation’s rich culture and collective intellectual heritage. The site includes a list of registered GIs with images, movies and voices, featuring interesting facts and stories in Japan. It also includes a search engine to find GI products by types, names and regions. The site carries the services with content translating into English, Chinese and Thai. The Japanese government is working to extend its GI system globally through bilateral trade agreements. It aims to tackle food fraud, ensure quality, protect regional and traditional food industries … Continue reading

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Counterfeiting Japanese GI food products detected abroad

TOKYO, March 27 — Japanese agricultural brand names are being maliciously used in overseas food markets, an investigation by the agriculture ministry has found. The ministry conducted a year-long investigation to see if there is continuing misuse and counterfeiting at global online shopping sites that mislead consumers on the origin of 48 food products from 46 regions protected by Japan’s geographical indications (GIs). The findings revealed that there were more than 600 counterfeit food products that were produced abroad and falsely labeled with Japanese GIs. For example, there were Chinese-grown “Ichida Gaki,” a brand of persimmon produced in Iida, Nagano prefecture, and Malaysian-produced “Kishu Ume,” plums that are named after … Continue reading

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Japan lifts safeguard measure against US frozen beef imports

TOKYO, March 30 — Japan was set to lift its safeguard measure on frozen beef imports from April 1, making the U.S. more competitive with other meat suppliers such as Australia. The agriculture ministry announced March 29 that Tokyo was to reduce the frozen beef tariff rate from 50 percent to 38.5 percent in the fiscal year starting April 1. In August, rising imports of frozen beef triggered the safeguard measure for the remainder of the 2017 fiscal year through March 31. Yet, Japan has retained its safeguard mechanism in the event of a sharp rise in beef imports to exporting countries that do not currently have free trade agreements … Continue reading

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Japan’s PM Abe not open to renegotiating TTP in favor of US

TOKYO, March 15 — Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has made it clear that he is not open to renegotiation that would shift the balance of benefits further in favor of the U.S. in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). “The TPP-11 deal is a delicate piece of glass work,” Abe told the upper house budget committee on March 14. When he was asked to comment on the possibility of renegotiating the TPP to bring the U.S. back in, Abe said: “I do not agree to any deal that is not in the nation’s best interests.” In January, U.S. President Donald Trump said that he might consider rejoining the trade pact, if … Continue reading

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