Category Archives: Farm Policy

TPP-11 nations agree to freeze drug monopoly protection period

TOKYO, Aug. 31 ─ The 11 members of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) have agreed to put a provision for drug monopoly protection period on ice, until the United States returns to the TPP. Senior trade officials from the 11 members met in Sydney to discuss how the TPP is being implemented without the U.S. at a three-day meeting that ended on Aug. 30. The drug monopoly protection of eight years was one of the thorniest issues that many members had to concede to U.S. demands during the TPP negotiations. During the Sydney meeting, some members also asked to revise other issues such as investment protection. In the meantime, Tokyo didn’t … Continue reading

Posted in Farm Policy, Trade Talks | Comments Off on TPP-11 nations agree to freeze drug monopoly protection period

Abe meets new head of JA ZENCHU

TOKYO, Sep. 6 ─ Leaders of Central Union of Agricultural Cooperatives (JA-ZENCHU) including new president, Toru Nakaya, met with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on September 6, 2017, at the Prime Minister’s Office. According to Nakaya, who is the first JA-ZENCHU chief elected from the Wakayama union, he explained Abe that the country’s most influential farm group is now making efforts to reform itself, and Abe responded: “Let’s work together.” The meeting was attended by Toshihiro Nikai, secretary-general of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, who represents a district in Wakayama Prefecture. It was the first meeting for Nakaya and Abe after Nakaya assumed the top post of JA-ZENCHU in August, and … Continue reading

Posted in Cooperatives, Farm Policy | Comments Off on Abe meets new head of JA ZENCHU

Japan safeguard has no impact on US beef price, says minister

TOKYO, Aug. 30 ─ One month after Japan raised tariffs on frozen beef imports from the United States, Agriculture Minister Ken Saito said it has so far had no adverse impact on the price of US frozen beef. U.S. meat exporters have criticized the so-called special safeguard (SSG) measure as an “artificial barrier” saying it unfairly distorts the Japanese beef market and punishes both U.S. producers and Japanese consumers. Japan imposed the SSG 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. It mainly affects the U.S. producers because they are the main suppliers … Continue reading

Posted in Farm Policy, Trade Talks | Comments Off on Japan safeguard has no impact on US beef price, says minister

Japan, EU remain at odds in talks over investment protection

TOKYO, Aug. 27 ─ Successful conclusion of the Japan and EU free trade agreement by the end of 2017 seems increasingly doubtful as the European Commission insists it will not agree to include a controversial investment protection provision in the accord. “It is worrying; we have major differences,” said a senior Japanese government official on condition of anonymity. The so-called investor state dispute settlement (ISDS) provision allows foreign investors or companies to sue governments over regulations if they allegedly harm their investments. Tokyo is eager to include the ISDS, which is also part of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and other trade agreements with Japan. Brussels wants the ISDS system to … Continue reading

Posted in Farm Policy, Trade Talks | Comments Off on Japan, EU remain at odds in talks over investment protection

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

Posted in Farm Policy, Trade Talks | Comments Off on Japan’s farm minister meets Hong Kong leader on import bans