Tag Archives: Analysis

【Analysis】 Geographical indications focus in negotiations with EU (Jan. 15, 2014)

  Senior Staff Writer, Masaru Yamada Geographical indications (GIs) protection is a system aimed at identifying high-quality food products rooted in tradition, culture and geography of particular localities and fighting against counterfeits. The Japanese government has begun working on introducing the system which is already adopted in the European Union. Although it is one of those inconspicuous quality assurance schemes, the system has also been getting attention in recent trade negotiations such as the Japan-EU Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) and the Trans-Pacific Partnership talks.   The EU is strongly urging Japan to create a law to protect GIs. Dacian Ciolos, European Commissioner for Agricultural and Rural Development who visited Tokyo … Continue reading

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【Analysis】 Japan seeks “flexibility” from US in TPP talks (Dec. 14, 2013)

  Ministers of the 12 countries involved in the Trans-Pacific Partnership free-trade talks closed their meeting in Singapore earlier this week, failing to reach agreement before the year end as expected. Differences remain among member countries, as the United States confronted other members in many areas including intellectual properties and tariffs on farm products. In an effort to find a way out of the difficulties, the ministers said in their joint statement that they will continue to work “with flexibility,” and the Japanese government focuses on this phrase as a foothold to make the U.S. change its hardline policy. Many members of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party’s committee on the … Continue reading

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【Analysis】 WFO members should strengthen cooperation to put forward the voices of farmers in policymaking (April 18, 2013)

  Shunya Kimura The 3rd General Assembly of the World Farmers’ Organization displayed a significant step that the organization has made in the three years after it was established, as the members came to a consensus on a common standpoint concerning international trade, and held active discussions on five basic themes with the attendance of international organizations. As climate changes and short food supply are becoming serious worldwide, there is an increasing need for agricultural groups to strengthen coordination beyond national borders to assert farmers’ rights in international circles. In each of the sessions discussing key issues, different agricultural producer groups presented reports which described their active efforts to solve … Continue reading

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【Analysis】 Joint statement on Japan-U.S. preliminary talks for TPP – Japan’s acceptance of U.S. demands as-is (April 13, 2013)

  The preparatory talks between Japan and the United States to allow Japan join the Trans-Pacific Partnership free-trade talks reached agreement, with Japan making significant concessions in various areas. The vital point is that Japan gave in totally to the U.S. demands concerning the automotive sector, which means Japan has given away before entering actual negotiations its biggest bargaining chip to win exemptions from tariff elimination for key products. As Japan allowed the U.S. to backload lifting of tariffs on imports of Japanese motor vehicles, its economic partnership strategy began to waver fundamentally. Other countries such as the European Union members, China and South Korea are also likely to follow … Continue reading

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