politics

Japanese farmers worried over effects of trans-Pacific trade pact

39 Comments

The requested article has expired, and is no longer available. Any related articles, and user comments are shown below.

© KYODO

©2019 GPlusMedia Inc.

39 Comments
Login to comment

Very narrowminded.. it has benefits of selling quality Japanese rice to the US and to those who prefer to pay higher for quality rice. Older generation do not get that part to the advantage of it..

5 ( +10 / -5 )

sooooooooo sad!

-6 ( +0 / -6 )

Oh, but Japanese are always saying that Japanese products are the best and they'd never buy the foreign stuff no matter the price! I guess we'll soon see how true that is!

28 ( +30 / -2 )

Sure they dislike his.

Once the rice goes from Yen 1.800 for 5 kg to maybe Yen 1.200 for the same quantity .....

But of course the Japanese government will subsidize them once again.

Remember, those farmers and older people always go for Abe and his party.

10 ( +11 / -1 )

The reliance on government money is obvious, now they face competition they want more? Of course foreign imports are cheeper, that's the result of farmers practicing good business skills. Something a 70 year old Japanese farmer who is doing the same thing his grandfather, great grandfather did will never get his head around. As they die off hopefully so will the total waist of money they receive. Although not sure how the availability of cheep food will effect the governments drive to force prices up., consumer spending could raise as there will be more house hold cash freed up. Anyway anything to have more choice cheeper is great. If that's what happens.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

For the love of God, can we please have the option to buy non-Japanese rice and non-Japanese cheese at prices which don't require a second mortgage?

24 ( +24 / -0 )

Once the Japanese rice growers are seen off by the cheap imports the price of the imported rice may increase to a price justified solely by that old principle of "Whatever the traffic will bear". And with a sellers market the quality of the rice will also be subject to whim of the importer/seller. The Japanese consumers are in for some rude shocks, not only with rice, but many of the other home-grown epicurian delights that they have become accustomed to.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Use your 3x vote to get rid of Abe

5 ( +5 / -0 )

In the southwestern prefecture of Kagoshima, which raises the largest number of pigs in Japan, Michio Ushidome, the head of an association of black-pig producers, expressed doubts about the touted benefits of the pact.

Never seen black-pigs nor ham from black pigs in japan. Is it the same breed as the black Iberian pig (aka pata negra)? I wish J farmers/consumers were more into hams & pates, especially considering the massive population of wild-boars, deers and hare we have here. They dunno what they're missing!

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Bummer for the farmers, but that's life. Most farming in Japan is under threat whatever happens; cultivated acreage is plummeting as the elderly pass on and the younger move to the cities.

It might make more sense to secure imported food supplies as they will also soon dry up.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

We are living in a hard time. Global scale capitalism is changing the world and affecting people's life dramatically. Globalism or global free trade is the natural consequence of the capitalism in extreme. As a result of technological advances, things are produced far more than a country needs and they have to sell them to overseas. Hand in hand with the advent of internet, money goes around throughout the world looking for pro its. I want to live in a more quiet world.

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

With a picture like that leading the story, hell yes they should be worried. It's because of outdated farming methods, that ya'll are getting left behind. You have been feeding in the public trough for far too long and have refused to heed warnings to update and modernize.

Japan is incapable of being self sufficient in food production and the economy can not continue to support over priced goods and services.

Want the economy to grow? Let people have access to cheaper food, then they can spend more on other durable goods.

12 ( +12 / -0 )

"If cheap dairy products start coming in from overseas, consumers will probably choose the imports. I fear it would be too late if countermeasures are taken after we start to be affected," he said.

I think thats impossible....Japanese consumers will undoubtedly continhe to prefer domestic produce because its vastly superior quality..because Jgovt has told everyone for decades J product is always better..and they wouldnt lie would they?

We want (the government) to make sure it takes support measures if pig-farming businesses begin to feel the crunch," Ushidome said.

Dont worry Ushidome san, LDP has always funelled bribe money subsidies to the farmers to ensure their votes come home and it will continue to do so. The farmers will get paid for being unable to compete as usual, but at least, hopefully..the long sufferring J consumer will have a choice of some cheaper , quality overseas dairy products.

10 ( +10 / -0 )

Losing local agriculture may be good for short term when it is peaceful, but will leave Japan venerable to blockades by China, Korea, etc in the future.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

It very worrying that they are so eager to export agricultural products from the areas contaminated with radioactivity.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Don’t these jokers read the news? Abe and his cronies specifically kept their price fixing agricultural products out of the deal.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

This could be the end of the road for a lot of rural fat cats.

On the bigger picture perhaps it is no bad thing.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

It was stupid for Japan to participate in PPP, it is even more stupid for Japan to continue it after US withdrew. There is no such a thing as free and fair trade as if there is unfair trade, any trade is free and fair. Nations trade, with or without treaties.

-7 ( +0 / -7 )

Yes, because they have been milking the system with their subsidies since dirt. Rebuffing efforts of the Norinchukin Bank and the JA to have them form co-oops to become more viable. ( 70 percent of rice farmers are working plots of 3 hectares or less, and more than half of these are working plots of one hectare or less ) Blocking lobbying which would allow the land to be economically repurposed.

This wont end well.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Lets see what gets cheaper next year, if so. As in a trading nation the producer is at the bottom end of the chain. Did camenbert cheese get any cheaper after the EU deal?

 Sell your milk to China, at the moment they are buying milk powder from Germany for their infants over there.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Well, nothing is certain, but Japan’s food production centers around high quality and small numbers. It can’t compete in a market that wants cheap prices for a cheap product.

That being said, it will come down to marketing. There is a niche for top level quality around the world, but cash-strapped people in Japan and elsewhere are going to go for the 100 yen bin.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Article paraphrase: We Japanese want our cake and eat it too! We want to charge unusually high prices, have inefficient middlemen, and claim everything Japanese unique and special. If you disagree then you are attacking our culture!

11 ( +11 / -0 )

Just a thought, but why not exempt all agricultural free trade? That way people can buy local and fresh. Sure, we can tweak individual things that the target country can't grow for free trade. Switzerland does this, and even tweaks for growing and harvest seasons (strawberries lower tariff during planting, but skyrockets during harvest).

-7 ( +0 / -7 )

Just a thought, but why not exempt all agricultural free trade? That way people can buy local and fresh. Sure, we can tweak individual things that the target country can't grow for free trade. Switzerland does this, and even tweaks for growing and harvest seasons (strawberries lower tariff during planting, but skyrockets during harvest).

Hey,

That's common sense! Slow down! There always have to be an element of "uniquely Japanese". It doesn't matter if it is good or not.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Farmers are getting a bad press here in the comments. YES we understand the deficiencies in the 3x voting stem, the limitations of small plots etc. But how much of the high shop price ends up back with the farmers? YES there's a correlation between high prices and high quality, but there's also a correlation between high prices and the huge industry of Japanese middlemen taking their margins along the way, all of which ramps up the price to the consumer. I want low prices just like everyone else, but I hope the casualties of open trade, via TPP and other deals, are the inefficient middlemen and inefficient procedures.

We do NOT need umpteen people stamping umpteen forms, we do NOT need a muppet to wave the truck out of the distribution centre, we do NOT need several muppets to wave us into car parks at the supermarkets. All these inefficiencies drive up the costs. Get rid of the inefficiencies, and the price of domestic produce and imports would fall.

Perhaps we are wedded to magic customer service at any price, so we forget the. basic economic arguments.

Plastic bag with that, Madam?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Expose the agriculture sector to market forces. Bring on the TPP. Japanese farmers need not be worried. PM Abe has made the pledge that none will be worst off under the Japan-led TPP.

Most consumers will continue to choose premium Japanese rice and produce. In fact, exports of Japanese agriculture is at record levels, with nations such as Taiwan and SE Asia driving the boom, and praising the quality.

-7 ( +1 / -8 )

Yes, farmers will lose out - that is what happens when protected industries are exposed to free trade. However, overall it is in the country's favour to go for freer trade - that is why they signed the deal.

Losing local agriculture may be good for short term when it is peaceful, but will leave Japan venerable to blockades by China, Korea, etc in the future.

Japan has not been self-sufficient in food for decades. A blockade tomorrow would lead to starvation.

As a result of technological advances, things are produced far more than a country needs and they have to sell them to overseas. Hand in hand with the advent of internet, money goes around throughout the world looking for pro its. I want to live in a more quiet world.

@Schopenhaur - things are produced to satisfy demand. For example, for decades Japan has been making "surplus" goods for export to the West, and still does. It has enormously benefited from the ability to export and has become rich in the process. You could have had a "quiet" life since the Showa period, perhaps been more like the Phillipines or somewhere. It would probably have kept Japan out of WW2, but also have meant it missed out on the post-war boom.

Trade goes both ways - I think that you do appreciate the wealth that trade has generated. And trade goes both ways.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Agreement is already signed

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

with cheaper rice imports, Japanese farmers should be able to raise prices slightly, and get into premium branding at home and as an export. Someone should be planning this already with their associations

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

FarmboyOct. 31  07:41 pm JST

Well, nothing is certain, but Japan’s food production centers around high quality and small numbers.

Except for rice, which has been over-produced for decades. You could probably convert half the rice acreage in Japan to vegetables.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

but why not exempt all agricultural free trade?

well then why not exempt all autos and electronics free trade also, free trade goes both ways, cant expect to shut out imports in industries you arent effecient at but expect free access to other countries markets in industires you are efficient in.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

@Kenji Fujimori

benefits of selling quality Japanese rice to the US and to those who prefer to pay higher for quality rice.

US farmers are growing same breed of rice as in Japan.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Unfortunately, most people don't understand trade. Today's trade is very different than the trade 3000 years ago. The trade as a platform is so sophisticated that productions are build upon it, thus supply chain concept. 3000 years ago, trade was a way to acquire things that a tribe couldn't make. If you apply the 3000 years trade to today's trade, you are not only wrong, you will end up to lose.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

A forced trade is not a fair trade, I hope Abe understand it. Not everything can be traded, it has nothing to to with protection. Japanese rice has many values, food value is only one of them. Honestly speaking, treaties destroy freedom and choices, as simple as that.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

The term "free trade" is a contradiction in terms---it is nothing but "survival of the fittest" with the powerful countries such as the USA dictating terms to the weaker countries and demanding concessions that they--the weaker countries--are unable to or find it difficult to refuse.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Maybe they should stop voting for the LDP, the party that pushed the TPP. Duh!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

But how much of the high shop price ends up back with the farmers? 

Consider this, there are plenty of "smart" farmers down here that contract direct with large supermarkets, like AEON and they directly supply the supermarkets with their produce.

No middle man, lower prices, and a larger variety of produce to choose from.

If there is a will there is a way! Using JA is just "easier".

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Japan already imports around 10-15% of its rice from China and a few other countries. It is cheap rice used for making sho-chu, sake, mochi cookies and in some restaurant chains. However, it is very difficult to find table rice at supermarkets that is not grown in Japan unless you go to specialty stores or shop online. This is the protected, subsidized and price fixed rice these farmers are worried about, but this is also the rice that was not included in the TPP agreement. These farmers are not worried about the competition. They are worried about losing their subsidies and getting paid to do nothing.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

There is also apart of me that prefers to buy only the Japanese rice for consumption than China and some other countries. Better the devil you know.........!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Login to leave a comment

Facebook users

Use your Facebook account to login or register with JapanToday. By doing so, you will also receive an email inviting you to receive our news alerts.

Facebook Connect

Login with your JapanToday account

User registration

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites