Japan’s farm group chairman raises concern on US trade talks

TOKYO, Sept. 7 ― Japan’s largest farmers’ group chairman, Toru Nakaya, has told Prime Minister Shinzo Abe that the country’s farmers are concerned if Tokyo would accept the U.S. demands under a new framework on bilateral trade issues.

The meeting took place at the prime minister’s office on Sept. 6, one day before the governing Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) leadership race campaign officially began.

Abe has made his bid for a third term as the LDP president and thus retain his position as the prime minister.

“During our meeting, the prime minister assumed me that he would not accept any terms with the U.S. that go beyond the TPP,” said Nakaya, chairman of the Central Union of Agricultural Cooperatives (JA-ZENCHU).

Nakaya also asked Abe to provide disaster assistance to farmers in disaster areas, including Hokkaido, which was hit hard by the recent earthquake. The northern island is home to the country’s farming as well as the fishing industries.

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