Japan’s LDP to press foreign minister to keep farm tariffs

TOKYO, June 24 – Japan’s governing Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) was to meet Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida on June 26, seen as last chance to press for keeping tariffs for sensitive agricultural products, before Japan and EU aimed to seal an overall trade deal.

Prior to that gathering, the LDP held on June 23 a committee meeting about the impending Japan-EU trade deal.

Members acknowledged the importance of Japan striking a trade deal with the EU as soon as possible in order to counter a backlash against globalization and protectionist sentiments around the world.

Yet, there is a firm condition: “While we are pushing hard our offensive interests, it is also incumbent on us to continue to preserve our farming,” they said.

Specifically, they emphasized Japan must maintain tariffs and border measures for agricultural products that are import-sensitive, such as pork and dairy.

They also called for the establishment of a framework to boost Japanese food exports to European markets in the trade talks.

That includes the mutual recognition of food products protected by geographical indications (GIs) and a resolution to address regulatory issues.

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