TPP-11 trade pact set to kick in: Tariff cuts start on Dec. 30

TOKYO, Nov. 1 ― The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) without the United States, also known as TPP-11, will come into force on Dec. 30 this year as Australia has become the sixth country to ratify the agreement, joining Japan, Canada, Mexico, New Zealand and Singapore. The entry into force “will send a strong message that the new trade rules of the 21th century, which area freer and fair, will be established and will spread to the world,” Japan’s Economy Minister Toshimitsu Motegi said at an Oct. 31 press conference. Australia’s ratification came within a day of the November 1 deadline. It was crucial because the TPP-11 agreement takes effect 60 days … Continue reading

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Japanese beef exports to Taiwan outperform pre-BSE levels

TOKYO, Oct. 15 ― Japanese wagyu beef exports to Taiwan are recording a rapid growth in the past 12 months after the neighboring Asian country lifted 16-year bans on imports of the meat from Japan in September 2017. Taiwan’s appetite for Japanese beef collapsed following the outbreak of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), or mad cow disease, in Japan in 2001. Shipments of Japanese beef exports to Taiwan from September 2017 to August 2018 totaled 616 metric tons, with export value topping 4.1 billion yen, data from the finance ministry showed. That was 30 times higher in volume than the pre-BSE levels. Exports of Japanese beef to Taiwan stood at 19 … Continue reading

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Prices of black grapes rise as production drops amid increasing popularity of Shine Muscat

TOKYO, Oct. 21 – Wholesale prices of black grapes such as Kyoho are rising recently, with the average prices of all black varieties marking a record high this year. The price increase is attributable to the aging of farmers, as well as drops in production of black grapes, as more farmers are shifting to production of popular high-priced green grape variety Shine Muscat. “(Black grapes) have often been offered at bargain prices to consumers, but they are becoming more of a luxury item,” a market dealer said. Meanwhile, imports of black grapes are rising sharply amid shortage of domestic products. The average wholesale price of black grapes sold by seven … Continue reading

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TPP-11 trade pact may take effect in Jan 2019: Japan’s minister

TOKYO, Oct. 17 ― Japan’s Economy Minister Toshimitsu Motegi has said the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) without the United States, known as TPP-11, will likely come into force as early as January 2019. “The TPP-11 should take effect soon as six countries are set to complete their domestic ratification processes in November,” Motegi said at a Oct. 16 press conference, after meeting ambassadors from the 10 countries in Tokyo. The minister expects early ratification by mid-November, when the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit takes place in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea. The TPP-11 trade pact will enter into force 60 days after six of the remaining 11 countries of the TPP … Continue reading

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Tokyo’s Toyosu wholesale market opens with traditional auction

TOKYO, Oct. 12 ― After two years of delays, a new wholesale food market, called the Toyosu market, finally opened its doors in Tokyo on Oct. 11, replacing the aging Tsukiji market. The market relocation comes two years later than previously planned, because additional safety work was required to control soil pollution at the new site. The new market features cutting-edge equipment in enclosed facilities at an area of 400,000 square meters. That makes it easier to manage temperatures for refrigerated and frozen products. The total shipment of fruits and vegetables for the first auction at the new Toyosu market totaled 2,533 metric tons. That was three times higher than … Continue reading

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