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Japan-EU free trade pact enters into force

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The existing 29.8 percent tariff imposed by Japan on hard cheeses like gouda and cheddar will be reduced to zero in stages over a 16-year period. For soft cheeses like mozzarella, Japan will set a quota and the tariff will be removed completely over the same time span.

There is no need for it to take this long!

34 ( +40 / -6 )

16 years?! I don't think I can deal with horrible Japanese "cheese" that long.

27 ( +31 / -4 )

16 years or 834.2 weeks, 5840 days, 40160 hours... Laughable. It will take THAT long for Japanese industries to “adapt” to the “foreign invasion”? Really? Massively poor at adapting to new market forces, the consumer, ripped off since day dot in Japan, HAS to speak louder... Pigs will fly!

Robots and AI don’t eat or drink, mostly what will be populating Japan by the time this comes into effect, yet Europes population will be UP. What will all those robots and AI do with money??

28 ( +29 / -1 )

Plus, just in time for the UK to rejoin the EU as all the leavers will have left, for good!

15 ( +17 / -2 )

BUT the 6000% meat tariff will be halved

8 ( +8 / -0 )

Cheese is nice eating once in a while but I don't think Japanese people come to consume daily. It appears people here are urging because they are drinkers and they want cheese when they drink wines. For the same reason, other Asian countries are not earnest in importing cheese.

-17 ( +3 / -20 )

The existing 29.8 percent tariff imposed by Japan on hard cheeses like gouda and cheddar will be reduced to zero in stages over a 16-year period. 

About 2% a year. It will take a long time to realise any benefit.

And as Britain is due to leave the EU in a couple of months, Cheddar will not be part of the deal but permanently kept out.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

I'm glad I have my goats to supply me with good healthy cheese - rather that wait 16 years. This country needs to diversity and adapt its agriculture - more traditionally reared livestock needed to make better use of the unused agricultural land here.

12 ( +13 / -1 )

The biggest adaptation that needs to be made, but wont, is getting more of the family farmers to work together and diversify.

Rice is subsidized so heavily that it makes it profitable for even the small farmer to eek out a living growing rice that we the consumer pay far too much for! (Even though overall rice consumption is down here as people are becoming more and more health conscience too!)

1 ( +7 / -6 )

Hows this good for Europe if it's going to have to consume products from regions still banned in other countries?

0 ( +3 / -3 )

There is no need for it to take this long!

I agree.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

Under the pact signed in July and ratified in December after five years of negotiations, consumers will gain access to cheaper imported food items, while the elimination of duties on industrial products will help curb costs for exporters.

Call me cynical of Japan (it evolved with experience) but, why is it that I don't believe that this will take place?

The existing 29.8 percent tariff imposed by Japan on hard cheeses like gouda and cheddar will be reduced to zero in stages over a 16-year period. For soft cheeses like mozzarella, Japan will set a quota and the tariff will be removed completely over the same time span.

Oh, I see...

I would love to enjoy REAL cheese. The Japanese don't know real dairy and small goods. I am a non-drinker btw...

6 ( +6 / -0 )

SchopenhauerToday 07:37 am JST

Cheese is nice eating once in a while but I don't think Japanese people come to consume daily. It appears people here are urging because they are drinkers and they want cheese when they drink wines. For the same reason, other Asian countries are not earnest in importing cheese.

I agree - most Japanese probably don't consume cheese daily , as I guess most Europeans, North Americans, Australians etc. Although I do wonder who's buying all the cheese (of mediocre quality at the best) in my local supermarket, where the cheese section is larger than the tofu section by many times over.

And as others commented it's about the quality. Once the market here is exposed to the incredible varieties of cheese at affordable prices- and they get a taste for it, the domestic makers will certainly have to lift their game to compete.

But 16 years!!! That's a long time in the free market world to adapt to change.

6 ( +9 / -3 )

For the same reason, other Asian countries are not earnest in importing cheese.

Ignorant comment. It's far easier to get decent cheese in other Asian countries' supermarkets. HK, Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia for example. Have seen it with my own eyes. It shouldn't be the way that a nation in the top end of the developed country league table that its so difficult to buy a basic consumer product.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

The biggest adaptation that needs to be made, but wont, is getting more of the family farmers to work together and diversify.

Amen to that, have been saying it for years.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Nothing to be passed down to consumers.

Increase profits for companies and that’s it.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

Don’t trust politics, but I doubt cheese will be cheaper. Just more choice of expensive cheese.

Was in Thailand a week or two ago. Rice was about ¥1000 for 20kg. My area in japan, ¥6000. I can’t see this going well for Japanese.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

I would like a good stinky cheese but I doubt I can afford it.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

16 years?! I don't think I can deal with horrible Japanese "cheese" that long.

Chew on the wrapping for the same taste but don’t grilll it.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

All the foreigners and some Japanese cheese lovers read the headline and be like: “oh my god! I can finally have more chees......”

Then, they cream pied reality in your face:

29.8 percent tariff imposed by Japan on hard cheeses like gouda and cheddar will be reduced to zero in stages over a 16-year period. 

9 ( +10 / -1 )

Unless these tariffs end now, this means nothing.

The can is kicked farther down the road,

while nothing really changes.

Japan's agriculture has a bad season, instead of importing, with better quality, lower price,

they charge us more for what they actually do grow.

The consumer/customer is GOD, reversed.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

Glad this went through. 1/3 of the the world's GDP is pretty damn big.

I hope to see cheaper prices and a larger variety of food available here even if some of these take a few years for the tariffs to reach zero. I've been waiting for over 40 years already anyway.

The US, China, and the Brexiteers can go sit in a corner by themselves.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

How long is it going to take before we get some decent bacon and lamb in this burg?

It astonishes me how many people have bought into the "We Japanese do not like lamb because it is bad smell" groupthink, then as soon as they visit Australia they get fed it and enjoy it. Only to revert to Factory Settings as soon as they get off the plane at Narita.

I'm with the posters above though. No way on Earth this should take 16 years to kick in.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

The pact will eliminate tariffs on most reciprocal trade...

I wonder how long it will take the EU counterparts to reduce tarifs on Japanese imports in this "reciprocal trade"..?

blue in greenToday 10:08 am JST

Unless these tariffs end now, this means nothing.

The can is kicked farther down the road,

while nothing really changes.

Exactly! The LDP knows full-well that they have no interest in 'reciprocal trade' that doesn't give financial advantages to them. Both now and historically. But I think the world is becoming more aware of this. And Japan continues to decline as it and burns bridges one by one in the world while it gradually turns (regresses) inward more and more each day.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Looking at the mainichi news they give a table showing the exact figures and how they will change

Wine: Max 94 yen tax will be removed (i.e. wine will be up to 94 yen cheaper) - effective immediately

Sparkling wine Max 137 yen tax will be removed immediately

Pork (expensive cuts) tax will go from 4.7 to 2.2% immediately, 2.0 after april 1.

Pork (cheak cuts) will go from max 482yen/kg tax to max 125yen/kg tax immediately... This sounds like it will be quite good!

Pasta/Chocolate: barely any noticeable difference

Cheese: 29.8% -- 27.9% immediately, and then 26.1% after april 1st. i.e. barely any difference :(

3 ( +3 / -0 )

"In Thailand Rice was about ¥1000 for 20kg. My area in japan, ¥6000."

and in Thailand the avg wage is USD 800 and in Japan is USD3250.

need I say any more?

0 ( +3 / -3 )

> > SchopenhauerToday 07:37 am JST

Cheese is nice eating once in a while but I don't think Japanese people come to consume daily. It appears people here are urging because they are drinkers and they want cheese when they drink wines. For the same reason, other Asian countries are not earnest in importing cheese.

I guess we don't have the same friends... i know lot of japanese people who would eat (or are eating) cheese everyday ! :)

5 ( +5 / -0 )

For Europe, the real money in cheese is in Japan's fast food industry, particularly pizza.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Just think how big a bank loan you'd need in Japan to buy that much cheese.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I don't think I can deal with horrible Japanese "cheese" that long.

It's not all bad. It's the mass produced Japanese cheeses that are really bad, but they use imported bulk non-tariff "cheese" with a smidgen of local product so that they can label it "Made in Hokkaido," etc.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I agree - most Japanese probably don't consume cheese daily , as I guess most Europeans, North Americans, Australians etc. 

Don't think we should put 'westerners' in one big category though. Many euros do eat cheese everyday, anglos don't. (top 15 countries that consume the most cheese: all euros & israel at 15 https://www.worldatlas.com/articles/countries-who-consume-the-most-cheese.html ). When it comes to cheese-eating habits it's very much a europe vs rest-of-the-world thing.

Personally, i don't think we should expect Japan to import various types of cheese (as seen in the above pic). Not their culture, which is fair enough. Camembert/brie/softish cheese (i.e any soft/creamy 'accessible' cheese) at a reasonable price would be nice though (125g at 800 yen is a joke/rip-off).

It appears people here are urging because they are drinkers and they want cheese when they drink wines.

Although cheese & wine do pair well, cheese & good, fresh, quality 'real' bread (not sliced-bread) go hand-in-hand.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I wonder how many shop owners will not drop the prices fully in line with the tax reduction, so they can make a bit more profit.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

So then these cheeses will only be about 150% more expensive than normal here?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Do you want us to put cheese on the bowl of rice? Hard to imagine.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Do you want us to put cheese on the bowl of rice? Hard to imagine.

Cream cheese in rice goes beautifully! Especially genmai (brown rice).

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Let’s repost this article in 16 years, when it’ll mean something, shall we?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

This is pretty sad.

Japanese should be talking about cheaper Mercedes and BMWs, not cheaper cheese.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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