Tag Archives: Opinion

【Opinion】 Lobbyists hold key to passage of trade bill in U.S. Congress (May 9, 2015)

  Toshiki Kayama The United States Congress is divided over the so-called trade promotion authority (TPA) bill, which is at the center of attention among people in the trade field as whether it is passed or not largely affects the fate of upcoming negotiations for the Trans-Pacific Partnership free-trade talks. At the same time, the ongoing confusion in the Congress over the bill gave us the opportunity to get a glimpse of what has attracted little attention until now – the decision making process in the U.S., which involves President Barack Obama, Congress, special interest groups and, last but not least, lobbyists who try to influence legislation on behalf of … Continue reading

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

【Opinion】 Fragile”alliance of hope”could be a pie in the sky (May 5, 2015)

Senior special writer, Masaru Yamada Prime Minister Shinzo Abe returned to Japan on Sunday, May 3, after a visit to the United States which included a meeting with U.S. President Barack Obama and a speech at the U.S. Congress. Abe seems satisfied with the fact that he and Obama could reaffirm the importance of the Japan-U.S. alliance. However, Abe’s remarks made in Washington indicate nothing but Japan’s intention to follow the U.S. global strategy like a shadow in every aspect from foreign and military policies to economics. For two months in the end of last year, the writer interviewed people from farm lobbying groups in Washington concerning the Trans-Pacific Partnership … Continue reading

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

【Opinion】 Bill to revise farm co-ops law infringes on non-farmer members’ rights (April 20, 2015)

  Masaaki Ishida The goals of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s agricultural co-operatives reform are to dismantle comprehensive business services of the co-ops, just like in the case of postal services. Although primary JAs may look the same on the surface after the reform, their businesses will be split up inside into different organizations such as farm co-ops specializing in sales and purchases, credit and mutual aid agencies and co-operative corporations. An ingenious scheme to lead JAs into overhauling themselves can be seen in the proposal to restrict non-farmer members’ use of JAs’ services. If such a rule is created, JAs’ businesses widely used by non-farmer members, such as credit and … Continue reading

Posted in Cooperatives, Food and Agriculture | Tagged | Leave a comment

【Opinion】 Feeding a warmer, riskier world – José Graziano da Silva, Director-General, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (March 14, 2014)

  <Dr. José Graziano da Silva, the Director-General of Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), contributed this article to The Japan Agricultural News ahead of the U.N. World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction to be held in Sendai, Japan.> Artificial meat. Indoor aquaculture. Vertical farms. Irrigation drones. Once the realm of science fiction, these things are now fact.  Food production is going high tech ? at least, in some places. But the vast majority of the world’s farmers still face that old and fundamental fact: their crops, their very livelihoods, depend on how mother nature treats them. Over 80 percent of world agriculture today remains dependent on … Continue reading

Posted in Food and Agriculture | Tagged | Leave a comment

【Opinion】 Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s cry for reform – an effort to dismantle opposition forces (Feb. 23, 2015)

  Katsuto Uchihashi The 189th ordinary Diet session which began on Feb. 12 is dubbed the “screaming for reform” Diet. In his 45-minute policy speech before the Diet, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe mentioned the term “reform” as many as 36 times and cried out that he is determined to reform agricultural co-operatives for the first time in 60 years. The issue of dismantling the Central Union of Agricultural Co-operatives (JA-Zenchu), which was narrowly agreed upon only three days before the opening of the Diet, has been made the main focus of the Diet session. Those who support the reform plan insist that turning JA-Zenchu into a general incorporated association and … Continue reading

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