Tag Archives: Focus

【Focus】 Bumpy road ahead for domestic agriculture industry (Oct. 7, 2015)

  TPP agreement: five key items Takanori Okabe, Satomi Tamai and Hayato Niki – Atlanta Under the Trans-Pacific Partnership free-trade agreement, Japan accepted large cuts in tariffs and establishment of new import quotas for some of the sensitive agricultural products such as rice and beef. The government has negotiated with the aim of avoiding sharp increases in imports through maintaining government-controlled trading systems and introducing safeguard measures. However, it is unclear whether they are effective enough to prevent damage to the domestic farm industry. Here are what Japan has agreed upon under the TPP talks concerning the five key agricultural items. <Rice> Tariff-free quotas set for U.S. and Australia Rice … Continue reading

Posted in Food and Agriculture, TPP and FTA | Tagged | 2 Comments

【Focus】 Japan-Australia economic partnership agreement – how would it influence domestic industry? (Oct. 3, 2014)

  The government is expected to submit a bill to the current Diet session to approve the Japan-Australia Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA). Among the key agricultural items, rice will be exempted from tariff cuts, while tariffs on wheat, beef, some dairy products and sugar will be reviewed in the fifth year after the agreement takes effect. Are the measures under the agreement sufficient to minimize the negative impact on the domestic industry?  Careful discussions are necessary in the Diet to approve the agreement, especially because the Diet resolution which called on the EPA to exclude key farm products from tariff eliminations or set them aside for future renegotiations has become … Continue reading

Posted in Food and Agriculture, TPP and FTA | Tagged | Leave a comment

【Focus】 TPP negotiators fail to narrow gaps; pressure rising toward yearend (Sept. 12, 2014)

  The two tracks of the current negotiations under the Trans-Pacific Partnership free-trade talks – bilateral working-level talks between Japan and the United States over tariffs on key agricultural products and the meeting of chief negotiators from all 12 participating countries to discuss issues concerning rules – both ended Wednesday, Sept. 10, with many hurdles still left before striking a deal. Japan and the U.S. began seeking chances of making progress on the ministerial level, as U.S. President Barack Obama is eager to reach a broad agreement under the TPP scheme in November. Concerns are rising over the possibility of Japan making concessions on key farm products under U.S. pressure … Continue reading

Posted in TPP and FTA | Tagged | Leave a comment

【Focus】 Beef cattle farmers’ business foundations weakening (Aug. 26, 2014)

  Beef cattle breeders, which have been regarded as a role model for streamlining and farm-size expansion, are recently shaken by a number of challenges, such as rising feed prices and anomalous weather, which cannot be overcome only by their own efforts. As a result, the number of breeders giving up farming is increasing at a higher pace than those expanding their farm size. Many breeders are reducing the number of cattle, and their business sustainability is threatened even more than other farmers. The situation is especially severe for Wagyu beef cattle producers, prompting the government to focus on allocating funds in the next fiscal year for measures to increase … Continue reading

Posted in Food and Agriculture | Tagged | 2 Comments