Category Archives: Farm Policy

New minister seeks cooperation on farm reform with JA group

TOKYO, Oct. 4 ― Japan’s new agriculture minister, Takamori Yoshikawa, has said that he wants to work the sector’s reform with the country’s largest farmers’ group, or JA group. “The core of the farm reform is to boost farmers’ income and support young people to run farms with a focus on production,” Yoshikawa told the Japanese press in an interview on Oct. 3, one day after he was appointed by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. In the latest cabinet reshuffle Abe retained key ministers in their posts, who have been handling thorny trade issues with the United States. Last week, the Japanese prime minister and U.S. President Donald Trump agreed to … Continue reading

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Japan PM Shinzo Abe keeps key ministers in cabinet reshuffle

TOKYO, Oct. 3 ― Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has retained key ministers in their posts including finance, foreign affairs and economy in the latest cabinet reshuffle, who have been handling thorny trade issues with the United States. Last week when Abe met U.S. President Donald Trump in New York, the two leaders agreed to begin negotiations for a trade agreement on goods (TAG). For the new cabinet, Abe appointed Takamori Yoshikawa, 67, a former vice agriculture minister, to replace Ken Saito as agriculture minister, reaffirming his commitment to reform the sector. He also kept Deputy Prime Minister Taro Aso, who doubles as finance minister, Trade Minister Hiroshige Seko, Foreign … Continue reading

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[Editor’s column] Never victimize agriculture (Sept. 28, 2018)

Tsuneyoshi Fujii, head of agricultural policies department, The Japan Agricultural News Talks between Japan and the United States on a so-called Trade Agreement on Goods (TAG) have progressed rapidly after U.S. President Donald Trump indicated he is ready to impose additional tariffs on Japanese vehicle imports and Japan scrambled to avoid the move. This is a total nuisance for the agriculture sector. We should never allow agriculture to be victimized for the sake of preventing a potential blow on the auto industry. To begin with, the joint statement issued by Japan and the United States following a meeting by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Trump in September indicates that the … Continue reading

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Young farmers have more non-fatal farming injuries in Japan

TOKYO, Sept. 6 ― Younger farmers are in the front lines when it comes to work-related injuries on farm in Japan, according to a new report by researchers. The National Agriculture and Food Research Organization (NARO) examined 390 farm injury cases, complied by the agriculture ministry from last year till this May. According to the report, the injury rate of less than aged 50 was 15.5 per 100,000 farmers. That was 1.7 times higher than that of aged 70 and over (9.2 per 100,000 farmers). The study pointed out that younger farmers tend to have much higher risks of injury due to lack of experience. The NARO warned there is … Continue reading

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[Editorial] De facto Japan-U.S. FTA unacceptable (Sept. 28, 2018)

We can’t help thinking that Japan and the United States have opened talks for a de facto Free Trade Agreement (FTA). Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and U.S. President Donald Trump have agreed in a meeting to launch new bilateral negotiations on trade, including tariffs on farm products, to reach what they call a Trade Agreement on Goods (TAG). The move deserves strong criticism as it largely contradicts the Japanese government’s stance denying an FTA with the U.S. The two also agreed that the U.S. would not pose additional tariffs on vehicle imports from Japan so long as both sides are engaged in market-opening discussions. It appears that the Japanese government … Continue reading

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