Category Archives: Farm Policy

【Editorial】Efforts begin to market Japan-made rice flour – the world’s highest-quality gluten-free food – in Europe (Oct. 7)

Japan’s rice products industry will kick off a sales campaign on Oct. 8 to promote domestically-made rice flour in Europe, focusing on the gluten-free labeling created by the Japanese government and industry to certify nongluten products based on the strictest standards in the world. The campaign deserves attention as the pioneering efforts to export rice products. Japan’s domestic market for farm produce is declining due to the falling birthrate and aging population. This is especially true for rice, whose demand has been shrinking by some 80,000 tons every year. The recent policy regarding rice is a typical downsizing, and rice farmers have been reducing production in line with the decreasing … Continue reading

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Japan rejects US pressure to review frozen beef safeguard

TOKYO, Oct. 21 — Japan’s Agriculture Minister Ken Saito has reiterated that Tokyo will not bend to U.S. pressure to review its special safeguard (SSG) mechanism on frozen beef imports. “Japan has no intention to change its safeguard mechanism,” said Saito at a press conference on Oct. 20. His comment came after a second round of Japan-U.S. Economic Dialogue between Deputy Prime Minister Taro Aso and Vice President Mike Pence on Oct. 16 ended without a solution over the SSG mechanism. Under World Trade Organization (WTO) rules, Japan has the right to invoke the SSG to restrict frozen beef imports temporarily by raising the tariff from 38.5 percent to 50 … Continue reading

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Japan watching New Zealand’s new government TPP stance

TOKYO, Oct. 21 — Japan is keeping an eye on a move by New Zealand’s incoming Labour Party-led government, which could undermine the prospects of a planned Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) deal without the United States. “The new government has expressed an intention to modify policies including the TTP,” said Japan’s TPP Minister Toshimitsu Motegi at a press conference on Oct. 20. “We will wait and see.” Agriculture Minister Ken Saito has echoed the caution expressed by Motegi. With the support of the Greens and NZ First parties, NZ’s prime minister-elect Jacinda Ardern said she will implement policies to ban foreign buyers from purchasing existing homes and she will also renegotiate … Continue reading

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Japan looks to slash farm support related to TPP agreement

TOKYO, Oct. 18 — Japan’s finance ministry has called for a cut in the budget allocated to farm support. This includes programs to help adjust to increased agricultural food products entering Japan following the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement. The ministry’s fiscal system council, which advises the finance minister, stressed on Oct. 17 it wants to review agricultural support programs related to the TPP, as the United States pulled out of the regional trade deal in January. And the council’s intention goes beyond the TPP. In July, Tokyo and Brussels reached a political deal on the Japan-EU Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA). The governing party as well as farm lobby groups have stepped … Continue reading

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US Vice President shows interest in trade talks with Japan

TOKYO, Oct. 18 — The United States has reiterated a strong interest in pursuing a new bilateral trade agreement with Japan during a high-level meeting, according to informed sources. Japan’s Deputy Prime Minister Taro Aso met U.S. Vice President Mike Pence in the second round of Japan-the U.S. Economic Dialogue that took place on Oct. 16 in Washington, DC. During the meeting, they made some progress on bilateral trade issues, including the lifting of restrictions on Japanese persimmon and on U.S. potatoes from Idaho. Tokyo also agreed to streamline testing procedures for American automobile exports. “Both sides affirmed that they would intensify work to achieve further progress in the near … Continue reading

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