Japanese farm goods traders seek removal of export barriers

TOKYO, April 14 — Japan’s governing Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) has heard from farm exporters requesting to remove trade restrictions related to the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster imposed on Japanese agricultural products.

The LDP’s committee that deals with agricultural exports held a meeting on April 13. It brought stakeholders interested in farm exporting to the table to help the committee focus on the issues.

This time, it included Sankyomeat, a subsidiary of Itoham Foods Ind., Japan’s largest wagyu exporter.

During the meeting, a Sankyomeat official pointed out that Taiwan lifted bans on imports of Japanese beef last year, but the country still keeps restriction measures in place on produce from five Japanese prefectures: Fukushima, Tochigi, Ibaraki, Gunma and Chiba.

“If only such measures were lifted, good producers could have exported their products,” the official told the committee.

The LDP’s committee is drawing up a package of proposals to meet the government’s target of 1 trillion yen in annual agricultural exports by 2020.

It plans to submit proposals to the government as early as May to influence the national budget for fiscal 2019.

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