Tag Archives: Editor’s column

【Editor’s column】 Now it’s the lawmakers’ turn (Oct. 7, 2015)

  Editor in Chief, Kazushiro Tamiya Under the Trans-Pacific Partnership free-trade talks, member nations are supposed to liberalize 95 percent of the tariff lines. Japan will not be able to achieve this target unless it liberalizes a part of the five key farm items. In addition to this, the government will largely reduce tariffs, including cutting import duty on beef to 9 percent over 15 years, establish special import quotas for rice and dairy products and abolish tariffs on other items, all of which represent unprecedented levels of market liberalization. The deal poses a great risk of considerably weakening the nation’s foundation for agricultural production and food security. If you compare the … Continue reading

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【Editor’s column】 Gaining farmers’ support essential for agricultural co-ops reform (Feb. 10, 2015)

  Editor in Chief, Kazushiro Tamiya The government, the ruling Liberal Democratic Party and the Central Union of Agricultural Co-operatives (JA-Zenchu) have reached basic agreement on reforming agricultural co-ops. During last-minute talks, LDP lawmakers with close ties to the farm sector barely managed to push back some of the radical proposals made by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s Office and the government’s Regulatory Reform Council. However, it is true that the overall debate on agricultural co-ops reform, which focused mainly on fiddling around the edges of restructuring JA-Zenchu, has made farmers feel doubtful and leery about for whom and for what the reform will be conducted. We are not convinced by … Continue reading

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【Editor’s column】 Ruling party’s landslide victory does not indicate public confidence in agricultural policies (Dec. 15, 2014)

  Director General of Editorial Department, Hidenori Uchida The ruling Liberal Democratic Party won an overwhelming victory in the Lower House election, but the party should not take this as public support for agricultural policies, which are part of the Abenomics economic reform agenda touted by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe as a focus of campaign pledges. Debates on agricultural policies were low-keyed in the election campaigns. The LDP apparently avoided focusing on agricultural co-operatives reform and the Trans-Pacific Partnership free-trade talks, both of which are included in the government’s “third arrow” of Abenomics. Although they are issues which would influence the future of agriculture and rural villages, voters had no … Continue reading

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【Editor’s column】 TPP: An act of utmost folly bringing devastation to the nation (March 16, 2013)

  Editor in Chief, Kosuke Nagai I cannot imagine anyone in their right mind making such a decision. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has, after all, announced his intention to join the Trans-Pacific Partnership free-trade talks. The TPP scheme will make Japan submit to the economic hegemony of the United States, and the Japanese society will be ruined, dominated by U.S. rules. There will be no future for the nation’s agriculture, and the people’s lives will be at stake. Entering the TPP talks is a leap into the dark, an act of utmost folly. Abe proudly stated in a press conference the significance of participating in the talks. But vital as … Continue reading

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