politics

Japan stands tough against rice imports in trade talks with U.S.

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By Tetsushi Kajimoto

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Just kick Japan out of the talks, and Canada if they can't step up to the starting line.

They shouldn't have been included in the first place and if later Japan wants to join, it knows exactly what conditions it has to meet.

3 ( +14 / -12 )

Agree with Gary. Kick them out already. They're already licking their wounds knowing they've lost out on the new China bank, and evidently they never learn until it's too late, so teach them the hard way again. They want everything, but are willing to give NOTHING. In a couple of years when, once again they are scrambling in the dust and begging to be let in and be made an exception, make higher demands and less concessions.

4 ( +16 / -13 )

Japan does not need US rice. Less and less rice Japanese are eating, and the rice price is decreasing too. J govt would have to throw away if forced to import rice.

-28 ( +10 / -37 )

tinawatanabeApr. 19, 2015 - 04:23PM JST

Japan does not need US rice. Less and less rice Japanese are eating, and the rice price is decreasing too. J govt would have to throw away if forced to import rice.

If the Japanese are so confident than foreign rice won't sell well in Japan, why the need for 700% tariff on rice imports and the quota limits?

Maybe the US can place the equivalent tariff and restrictions on imported Japanese auto parts and justify under the same excuse that there is no demand in the US for Japanese manufactured goods.

Can you not see the illogic of your logic?

17 ( +27 / -10 )

tinawatanabe: The point is that Japan's farming sector is still far too subsidized by the government and is protected when it should be instead opening up to other options. Let me ask you a question, tina: if you had the choice between Japan rice as it is now, or cheaper, American rice, which would you buy? It's a rhetorical question, tina, because you, like most Japanese, would still buy the Japanese rice because you buy into the myth that the Japanese product is superior. So, even if the market opens up, nearly everyone who willingly buys Japanese rice now would still do so -- same with cars, and same with many electronic devices and appliances. SOME people would opt for other brands because they are cheaper, yes, but whether or not they do the OPTIONS should be available -- not made unavailable by jacked up tariffs. Why does Japan, on the flip-side, want tariffs on their automobiles removed in the US market?

What's more, if the demand for Japanese rice is so great and it is so delicious, and the farmers competitive enough and not the actual crutch on the nation that so many claim them to be, would opening up the market to Japanese products abroad not also be a boon for them? The answer is, with the current crop of old codgers milking the government teat, NO! They cannot adapt or change, and are forever depending on handouts, and the TPP scares them because they would have to WORK for their money instead of just holding out their hands and being protected.

14 ( +23 / -9 )

@ tinawatanabe

So then why the protectionist measures like high tariffs and low import caps? Free-trade has to be a 2-way street. The US can't let Japan flood its market while Japan keeps its market completely closed out from foreign competition. That might have been okay when Japan was still a developing nation and needed to get its industries started, but now you have to play ball.

10 ( +18 / -8 )

Some other countries and regions, Taiwan for example have opened their market to foreign rice and some Taiwanese still prefer to buy Taiwanese rice but at least it is their own choice. Japanese rice is not as expensive as it was, I see 10kg for 2000yen at Seiyu and some other rice shops. Sure you might get American rice at 1000yen for 10kg but if Japanese rice is that good, customers will pay the additional 1000yen for it. Personally I'll buy american rice, give me the choice. I hope the Americans will stand up to Japan.

9 ( +11 / -2 )

Japan does not need the rice. And US rice tastes different from Japanese rice. And it is not sticky rice. And what is the basis for the demand to force Japan to import US rice? Politicians just want to get votes, that is the reason for the demand (that is why it is called a "demand", because there is no rationality behind it). Same with US cars. US is a bully.

-19 ( +5 / -24 )

gokai_wo_maneku

Japan does not need the rice. And US rice tastes different from Japanese rice. And it is not sticky rice. And what is the basis for the demand to force Japan to import US rice? Politicians just want to get votes, that is the reason for the demand (that is why it is called a "demand", because there is no rationality behind it). Same with US cars. US is a bully.

Please read some of the previously expressed comments.

Again

If the Japanese are so confident than foreign rice won't sell well in Japan, why the need for 700% tariff on rice imports and the quota limits?

9 ( +14 / -5 )

Maybe the US can place the equivalent tariff and restrictions on imported Japanese auto parts and justify under the same excuse that there is no demand in the US for Japanese manufactured goods.

I'm more worried about J farmers than car parts makers.

Why does Japan, on the flip-side, want tariffs on their automobiles removed in the US market?

Maybe J govt has to demand something to justify US rice import? so looks like a negotiation? I don't feel Japan is doing this for Japan, but for its boss USA. But US is demanding too much and Japan is in trouble.

The US can't let Japan flood its market while Japan keeps its market completely closed out from foreign competition.

That is not correct. US is flooding Japan's market. PC, smartphone, Medicine, Military industry, Airplane, Music, Entertainment, movie. Japanese cars are not made in Japan, but in USA. US music is big in Japan, but Japan never complained that American don't listen to Japanese music.

There're many non-Japanese cars in Japan. US shouldn't be so lazy on what car Japanese want.

-26 ( +2 / -28 )

"Japan Ranks No.50 in world rice consumption..." JT article on 16th Apr. But the way agriculture ministry is defending domestic rice market it looks as if rice is the only food for Japanese people.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Japan needs to say no to TPP. It has very little to do with free trade and more about extending copyright protections and lowering environmental protections. Why should Japan give away the power to set its own safety regulations and labour standards to countries that have very different priorities and values? If Japan needs economic reform, it can do it on its own from the inside...albeit very slowly.

1 ( +6 / -5 )

I'm more worried about J farmers than car parts makers.

Why? Most Japanese, even from rural Japan, do not want to become farmers, and as you have already stated, Japanese are eating less rice. What is the rationale for supporting a dying, unproductive industry?

I don't feel Japan is doing this for Japan, but for its boss USA. But US is demanding too much and Japan is in trouble.

There boss? Haha are you kidding me? How is America Japan‘s boss? You mean to tell me Japan isn‘t a democracy? Yes, you are correct, Japan IS in trouble, but because of the worthless politicians in bed with Japan agriculture.

That is not correct. US is flooding Japan's market. PC, smartphone, Medicine, Military industry, Airplane, Music, Entertainment, movie. Japanese cars are not made in Japan, but in USA. US music is big in Japan, but Japan never complained that American don't listen to Japanese music.

Tina, that‘s because lapanese people like American music, movies, and electronics. Why would they complain about having something they. As for Japanese cars made in Japan, who decided to build their factories in America? Japanese executives. Furthermore, all the profits Japanese car companies make ends up as Japanese Yen making money for Japanese stockholders. What are whining about? イェ、鎖国日本!ファイト!(笑)

3 ( +8 / -5 )

This canard that no Japanese would ever sully his mouth with imported rice needs to be dispensed with.

Japan is not self-sufficient in terms of rice production. Vast quantities of japonica strain rice are imported from Australia to make up the difference between what a 127 million-strong population requires and what antiquated, piecemeal domestic practices, propped up for generations by LDP largesse can produce.

If you are eating rice in Japan, you are eating Australian rice. That's a fact.

The only difference between what's happening now and what the TPP would require is merely a matter of labelling.

If the knee-jerk apologia that "We Japanese would never buy foreigner rice because Japanese rice is very unique and delicious" has any validity, let's see it proved. Give people an option. You never know, a nice bit of long grain for a biryani or a paella might go down well as a refreshing change.

But don't hold your breath for this government to venture towards progress. You will eat the officially-sanctioned menu, and shriek that it's delicious - nay, the best food in the world:

5 ( +9 / -4 )

Let Japan be able to feed its people. One cannot eat car parts. I might ask why people who are actually anti-Japanese live in Japan? Perhaps they just do not like any country, even the one they are from. I personally would fight for Japanese sovereignty as they are good people, very good people. Let them eat rice. Their own rice.

-16 ( +4 / -20 )

I personally would fight for Japanese sovereignty as they are good people, very good people.

Yes, there are indeed many good Japanese people, but no one is inherently good or bad based solely on nationality.

Let them eat rice. Their own rice.

Right, the only problem problem with that is Japan can‘t produce enough rice to feed everyone. Furthermore, no one is saying they shouldn‘t be able to eat Japanese rice, but why shouldn‘t Japanese people have the choice to buy cheaper imported rice?

I might ask why people who are actually anti-Japanese live in Japan?

I might ask why you assume anyone who criticizes Japanese trade policy is anti-Japanese?

8 ( +12 / -4 )

sodesuka

Let Japan be able to feed its people.

I agree. That would be preferable. Then allow Japan's domestic rice to be made more affordable. Cut the JA price gouging out of the picture. It's not an either or situation.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

tinawatanabe: "Maybe J govt has to demand something to justify US rice import? so looks like a negotiation? I don't feel Japan is doing this for Japan, but for its boss USA."

Well, you see, THAT is the big problem and the biggest impediment to free trade and a very good deal for Japan and others: PRIDE. You don't want the option of other rice to be available because that means people MIGHT choose rice other than that produced domestically. I bet you even consider the idea of foreign rice being more prevalent in Japan to be "an attack on Japanese culture". If Japan opens up, and Japanese products become more popular abroad as a result, you'll be bragging about how great the stuff here is. And in some cases it IS that great -- so why not make it more available? Like I said, fear, pride, money, and greed. It has ZERO to do with the actual rice.

9 ( +15 / -6 )

TPP is for sure made to favor the US multinational corporations in general (not the American consumers and workers, and this is a huge difference that also some Americans here should understand), exactly like the TTIP between the EU and the US. The US are able to force their own rules in an unfair way, and you can see it on a daily basis. For example, read this:

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/04/11/business/gm-steering-issue-pushes-automakers-limits.html?_r=0

The American regulators are not forcing GM to recall, even though there's an evident problem, but if this was a Japanese company, the matter would have been handled in a different way. And read also this:

http://www.ibtimes.com/gm-ignition-switch-recall-gm-cannot-be-sued-faulty-cars-sold-2009-bankruptcy-judge-1884249

A U.S. bankruptcy judge said Wednesday that General Motors Co. will not have to face all the lawsuits that accuse the company of not revealing a defect with the ignition switch that caused the recall of 2.6 million vehicles last year. The defect has caused over 200 deaths and serious injuries, reports said.

This is a joke, an offense for all the victims and their families, but they are protecting "General Government", while Takata is fined with tons of money everyday for a defect that isn't even very clear yet. And Honda also got a record $70 million fine, while GM only your ordinary $35 million fine. Why? Plus, the fines that GM get can be used from the government to save it like it already happened. So, it's like GM doesn't get any fine at all.

Japan isn't the only victim of the US double standard, of course. Read this: http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/07/01/us-bnp-paribas-settlement-idUSKBN0F52HA20140701

French bank BNP Paribas BNPP.PA has pleaded guilty to two criminal charges and agreed to pay almost $9 billion to resolve accusations it violated U.S. sanctions against Sudan, Cuba and Iran, a severe punishment aimed at sending a clear message to other financial institutions around the world.

Another huge joke...This happened only some months before the US made up with Cuba and Iran. Fun fact, uh? If this wasn't a slap to the France...

Why do you think the biggest European countries joined the AIIB? At least for once, we were able to do the best for us, despite the American pressure.

Japan should protect its farmers, but we already know that the Japanese market will be invaded by rice produced by some big American companies.

Now, I know I'll get the usual thumbs down, even though I showed you some real facts that an objective person couldn't deny.

-1 ( +6 / -7 )

Isn't TPP supposed to be a free trade zone that includes 10 countries that are not called Japan or the US? I don't think free trade can include special tariffs and restrictions on farm imports into Japan or special access for US rice into Japan. Maybe Japan should be asked to leave and not try to come back until it has grown up and take the US with it on the way out.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

TPP is a multinational agreement and if done the right way (truly open agreement on all goods and services) then it will truly be a free trade agreement. To me that means drop U.S. tariffs on car parts and Japanese tariffs on U.S. rice. There will always be domestic constituencies in both (all) countries that will have strong lobbying power. The question is whether the negotiators have sufficient courage to look to the broader, long-term possibilities.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Like I said, fear, pride, money, and greed. It has ZERO to do with the actual rice.

Why greed is on Japan side, not your side? It is your side who's trying to force your rice into Japanese mouth and don't mind detroying J farmers.

If the Japanese are so confident than foreign rice won't sell well in Japan, why the need for 700% tariff on rice imports and the quota limits?

Who said foreign rice won't sell well in Japan? If cheap, restaurants, food product company, shop, and everybody except people who prefer J rice and care about J farmers would buy. J farm industry would be completely destroyed. Please don't do this.

-14 ( +2 / -16 )

@tinawantabe,

Perhaps Japan doesnt need US rice, but do remember, the US can exsist without Japan; it just a matter of courtesy and to keep the security treaty that the US keeps its markets open, otherwise there is no need for Japans market, its too small and troublesome to even bother with. As for imports, many new players like Korea that would gladly take Japanes place, most of the products can be made domestically and would give US people jobs. I agree with other posters, no need to waste time with games, just include the players like SG and NZ who want to play fair.

6 ( +10 / -4 )

tinawatanabe

Why greed is on Japan side, not your side? It is your side who's trying to force your rice into Japanese mouth and don't mind detroying J farmers.

Please Tina, if you are going to involve yourself in this discussion, can you add just the smallest amount of adult logic to any post you're going to contribute.

No one is forcing anyone to eat US rice. They are just saying that the general populace should have a choice on what agricultural products they can buy. At present the 700% import duty and the quota gate system takes away that consumer choice

Who said foreign rice won't sell well in Japan? If cheap, restaurants, food product company, shop, and everybody except people who prefer J rice and care about J farmers would buy. J farm industry would be completely destroyed. Please don't do this

Oh ...... so now Japanese people would eat foreign rice, if given a choice..... you keep changing the goalposts, since in your first tirade on this thread, you claimed there was no market in Japan for foreign grown rice.

6 ( +10 / -4 )

TPP is a multinational agreement and if done the right way

It can't be done the right way, because the US are still too strong as a power compared to the other countries, so they are always able to impose their rules for their own advantage. This is one of the reasons why the Europeans are trying to get closer to China.

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

Tinawatanabe: I'm more worried about J farmers than car parts makers.

Oh you mean the same farmers paid subsidies by JA and the gov't NOT TO PLANT crops to keep the price high and demand high as well?

Also, care to answer the need also for a 700% tariff in the first place? You keep failing to address this - AS USUAL because you AGAIN you are more than wrong.

5 ( +8 / -3 )

http://www.repubblica.it/economia/2015/04/18/news/ttip_manifestazioni_proteste-112253167/?ref=HREC1-17#gallery-slider=112257192

Il mondo in piazza contro l'accordo Ttip di libero scambio tra Ue e Usa

"People around the world are manifesting against Ttip between EU and USA"

If the West is really "democratic", it should accept the common people will, while the governments are acting in secret to favor the big corporations. The American corporations will be the greatest winners, no doubts. In Italy we don't want to eat American beef full of hormones! So, again, where is democracy? The situation with Ttip is similar to the TPP one.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Importing food from the US(!) is already risky to begin with. Let alone Japan's no. one food source rice. So screw the rice from the US, not needed!

-4 ( +6 / -10 )

@gokai

And US rice tastes different from Japanese rice. And it is not sticky rice.

In general, yes, there is long grain rice grown in the states... but California has for a long time grown short grain, sticky japonica rice as well. All the Japanese people I know who have tried it agree it is delicious.

8 ( +10 / -2 )

The Italian link that I meant to post (it's the same article, but I had put the link to the gallery):

http://www.repubblica.it/economia/2015/04/18/news/ttip_manifestazioni_proteste-112253167/?ref=HREC1-18

And if you want a very complete article in English, it's here for you:

http://rt.com/news/250901-ttip-global-action-day/

Most protests have taken place in the center of EU economic activity – Germany.

This is really interesting. Tons of people in this site usually praise Germany. What about this? Will they label German people like nationalist, like they are used to do with Japanese people?

Read the comments, and see what many Europeans think about the relation between the US and the EU.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Importing food from the US(!) is already risky to begin with.

Imagining Japan without US food imports is quite difficult. In this era of climate change and consequential food production disruption, Japan would be wise to build bridges with their food suppliers rather than burn them.

7 ( +9 / -2 )

They are just saying that the general populace should have a choice on what agricultural products they can buy.

Most Japanese individuals will no doubt carry on buying Japanese rice, but the Japanese food industry won't. America and Australia can both grow (on a very large scale if necessary) Japanese-style short-grain rice, indistinguishable from the Japanese grown variety. Restaurants and instant rice makers will be big buyers, leading to undoubted loss of sales for Japanese farmers. Of course, many Japanese fear this will lead to their country becoming even less self-sufficient and creating an even more desolate countryside as such small-scale rice growers cannot hope to compete with those huge farming conglomerates.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

@tinawatanabe "Japan does not need US rice".

True. No need to sell national values for US political interests.

-1 ( +5 / -6 )

Worse than the demands about rice and automobiles, the most potentially fatal rule for countries other than the US is that there can be no restrictions on capital flow. That means that the next time that the US banksters cause a catastrophy again, all countries in the TTP will suffer or sink completely. Forget the cars and rice. Think CAPITAL FLOWS!!!

0 ( +3 / -3 )

That means that the next time that the US banksters cause a catastrophy again, all countries in the TTP will suffer or sink completely. Forget the cars and rice. Think CAPITAL FLOWS!!!

In Europe, we are still suffering for the crisis started by the Americans. Common people know how unfair is the way that the Americans treat us, but our governments are Uncle Sam's puppets. For this reason many people were positively shocked and happy when the biggest European countries joined AIIB. We are hoping for some good change, even though it's difficult.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Alex80: "The American regulators are not forcing GM to recall, even though there's an evident problem, but if this was a Japanese company, the matter would have been handled in a different way."

Oh, you mean like with the Takata airbags? The Japanese execs refusing to meet and negotiate, them covering up test results, cost-cutting by outsourcing, blaming everything on everyone else, and refusing to meet the demands of the US senate in handing over information? You mean they'd handle it like that?

tinawatanabe: "Why greed is on Japan side, not your side?"

First off, classic proof yet again that you generalize everything and make false assumptions in all of your arguments. I am not American. There is no 'my side' except the Japan side since I live, work, and eat in Japan. Yet since I do not share your views you assume I am somehow American. But, since you mention the American side, there is greed on that side as well -- every nation is working for their benefit in trade, else why bother at all? I said greed and pride, etc., are a limitation in the negotiations. I did not say they are limited to Japan -- YOU made that assumption. I DID say that pride is often an impediment when Japan needs to face facts like the fact that its agricultural sector is grossly over-subsidized and the market needs to open up and become competitive, and on such topics as easing foreign immigration, but I never said any of it was limited to Japan.

"It is your side who's trying to force your rice into Japanese mouth and don't mind detroying J farmers."

You sound like a pouting child, tina. NO ONE is forcing rice or anything on any one. They merely want to make it an OPTION. As for destroying J-farmers, as you put it, they have destroyed themselves by not being able to adapt. They cannot even become self-sufficient! And as has been pointed out by myself and others, opening up the market will not force you to choose American or other rice, and you would still be free to choose Japanese rice if you liked. So, what are you scared of?

"Who said foreign rice won't sell well in Japan? If cheap, restaurants, food product company, shop, and everybody except people who prefer J rice and care about J farmers would buy. J farm industry would be completely destroyed. Please don't do this."

If J-farmers can adapt, they will not die out. If they are in threat of dying out, it is because they cannot compete and are inefficient. In which case they SHOULD die out, shouldn't they? Why on earth would you want to keep people who are inefficient, and uncompetitive in business, tina, except for pride? That pride is your downfall, tina, not rice, and not foreign nations. It's you.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

zootmoney

Restaurants and instant rice makers will be big buyers, leading to undoubted loss of sales for Japanese farmers. Of course, many Japanese fear this will lead to their country becoming even less self-sufficient and creating an even more desolate countryside as such small-scale rice growers cannot hope to compete with those huge farming conglomerates

.

Soooooooooooooo?

The British Midlands could have used the same argument about its motorcycle industry in the 1970s. Michigan could have said the same about its car industry in the 1980s. Europe could have said the same about their steel industries from the 1960s to the mid-1980s.

Japan was happy to play by the global rules of free trade then, when its own motorcycle, car and steel industries could produce cars, motorcycles and steel better and cheaper then anyone else.

But when the shoe is on the other foot...... In the end that's what Tina's goalpost shifting and all those other Japanese exceptional excuses really boil down to. Japan wants special rules applied to itself. In the 20th Century the developed world was prepared to give Japan the benefit of their doubts and hope, that with time, Japan would behave as a developed economy, like the UK, in the 19th Century, and the USA, in the 20th Century, had.

Watching Amari this morning on NHK, Japan was still in its 20th Century mindset and it is quite clearly not going to wash. The TPP is 21st Century agreement and all those whining about it only benefits corporations, welcome to reality, which international trade agreement hasn't?

4 ( +8 / -4 )

I guess, you have gained much more positive results of the economical sanctions, imposed to Russia last year.

Economical sanctions imposed to Russia were a disaster for the EU, but our governments are following the US strategies.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Alex80: "everything the American regulators say about some foreign companies is crap."

Back at you, slick! Except we all know you enjoy blaming EVERYTHING under the sun on the US. In fact, just yesterday you were blaming the Japanese government's summons of media heads on the US and China. So, you'll have to forgive me if I think your arguments against the US side on anything don't hold much weight, if any.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Back at you, slick! Except we all know you enjoy blaming EVERYTHING under the sun on the US.

Except we all know you enjoy balming EVERYTHING under the sun on Japan, while you protect your beloved S.Korea and the US, because of your origins. I simply find absurd blame Japanese foreign politics when it is following American geo-political strategies, this is what you don't want to admit.

In fact, just yesterday you were blaming the Japanese government's summons of media heads on the US and China.

On China? I would never blame China for Japanese foreign politics, that are determined by the US, despite what you think. It's basically the same in the Italy, but you can't understand.

So, you'll have to forgive me if I think your arguments against the US side on anything don't hold much weight, if any.

I have facts, you only your hate towards anyone who criticizes the US. Japan is a US puppet state, deal with it. Also China knows it!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

“Negotiations can’t work if one side makes no concessions,

Kick Japan to the curb. They knew the rules about TPP when the U.S. (by the way) got them into the discussions. They refuse to play ball, so give them the boot.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Sadly, US rice has problems. I'm an American and as much as I'd like to say, "Yes, Japan should import rice from other countries." The US is not one of them. Why? Simple fact, idiot companies (Oil, Gas, Mining, Chemical groups) have been messing up the ground water over here for so long (I'm guessing the whole fracking idea) in most areas in the US that rice has higher levels of arsenic in it than any other nation that grows that grain.... The darker the ric grown here, the more arsenic you get. What else can one expect when you have rice grown in the US in places like Texas etc... You get rice grown in India, Thailand, and other rice growing nations, you don't have that problem.

On the good side, maybe we'll develop a tolerance for arsenic... what doesn't kill you makes you stronger...sarcasm

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

This time, negotiaters included long grain rice as Taiwan import long grain rice.

Auto: As US streets are with Japanese brand cars and sometimes, US brand cars that Lyden thought those Japanese brand cars are made in Japan cars. So he and other TPP rep are pushing Mich based auto co, products to export to Japan. Japanese auto companies in Japan market Right side handle cars in Japan and market in Japan. They created auto factories in the states that invited they create division. Tenn, Ky. Tx. etc. They make left side handled cars to comply with USA regulations. There are many states where texting while driving is illegal, Japanese brand cars are eauiped with push button conversation system. There are many more/ So Sales are up and up. TPP talkers only want to export Mich. based makers make left side handle cars.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Well, I just hope they can get some decent butter here for a reasonable price.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Seems that many posters here do not understand what a "free trade agreement" is. It does not require purchase; it simply aims to level the field by standardization of taxes and regulations. If you do not like cars or food or whatnot from any given country for whatever reason, it will remain your right not to purchase it. To restrict others in their choices, however, is not fair.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Years ago, in a meeting while discussing Japanese products were killing USA industry. one lawmaker ploudly said I never use Japanese Japanese product. And when asked what kind TV you use. He said loudly SONY. And chairman adjourned quickly as laughing sounds fell all over. Sony was top sellet and crushed USA TV makers.

Lyden has that kind of mentality about cars.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

@5petals: As for imports, many new players like Korea that would gladly take Japanes place, most of the products can be made domestically and would give US people jobs.

Go ahead, I think US and SK can get along well. Japan has to protect its own farmers even if it means Japan becoming a poor country.

-10 ( +1 / -11 )

Japanese don't like the taste of US rice. Yes, there IS a difference, although most westerners can't tell. Japanese don't want to buy it. My wife is Japanese and she says so.

-12 ( +2 / -14 )

*Japan has to protect its farmers even if it means Japan becoming a poor country"

Gee...you certainly sound like you have a vested interest in keeping the status quo. Protect how?..By making 99% of J-population pay exorbitant prices for rice to support the inneficient farm sector here? I don't think Japanese consumers were ever given the choice whether they wanted to " protect its farmers". They just have to pay through the nose for most agricultural products. Give public the choice whether they want to protect J-farmers or not...they can decide with their wallet at a supermarket.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

If the TPP passes, I'm more concerned about GMO foodstuffs making their way to Japan from the U.S. Monsanto must be looking forward to its passage.

@Alex80 Great post. I've known the TPP is unfavorable to countries other than the U.S. The devil is in the details.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

The main problem isn't if people will like or not the taste of foreign rice, but the fact that the small farmers business will be killed by the flood of rice produced by big corporations.

zootmoney got the point:

Most Japanese individuals will no doubt carry on buying Japanese rice, but the Japanese food industry won't. America and Australia can both grow (on a very large scale if necessary) Japanese-style short-grain rice, indistinguishable from the Japanese grown variety. Restaurants and instant rice makers will be big buyers, leading to undoubted loss of sales for Japanese farmers. Of course, many Japanese fear this will lead to their country becoming even less self-sufficient and creating an even more desolate countryside as such small-scale rice growers cannot hope to compete with those huge farming conglomerates.

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

@Laguna: Japan needs to widen streets. Also make all women taller, at least 5 feet 4 inches with boots on or no drivers license. Need One side way only signs all over. Then convince one or more local businessman all over in Japan to become imported car dealer.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

If the TPP passes, I'm more concerned about GMO foodstuffs making their way to Japan from the U.S. Monsanto must be looking forward to its passage.

Yeah, the American GMO foodstuff is a nightmare, for this and for other reasons also many Italians like me don't want the Ttip (it's the same as the TPP, but between the EU and the US). It's unfair that we, the ordinary people, can't decide about this matter! Where is the democracy? :(

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Arsenic. Yes, the poison arsenic, is in US rice. This is well documented, so anyone would have little trouble finding articles about it. But that's not all. Much of the rice now grown in the US south is where cotton was once grown for decades. Since cotton is not consumed, the pesticides used were pretty nasty to say the least, and the soils are still totally tainted. I once read an article about it stating that since rice is generally consumed by minorities in the US (Asians, Hispanics) there has been little uproar in the media. Furthermore, when asked what the effects would be when consumed, scientist are divided because no long term studies have been conducted. We'll just have to live and learn.

And for the time being it would be doubtful that much rice from California would make its way here as they are experiencing the worse drought in a millennium.

Oh, and the rice imported would probably never show up in bags at the supermarket. It'd be used for noodles, processed into senbe snacks, and brewed into beer. Kanpai!

1 ( +2 / -1 )

US has stopped food supply to Japan before Pearl Harbor. US might stop again in the future.

-9 ( +3 / -12 )

@tinawatanabe "US has stopped food supply to Japan"

The very idea of selling US rice in Japan looks out merely insane.

-7 ( +2 / -9 )

But, Japan already imports cheap low quality rice from China to make shochu. The reason they don't want to import quality rice is because it would directly compete with the heavily subsidized farmers in Japan and would destroy the price fixing practices of limiting the amount rice grown in Japan to keep the price high. Rice is also a major export from Australia, but not much comes I to Japan.

Whether these old stone-headed fool in Japanese parliament believe it, Japan needs to flood all of its markets with cheaper imported goods to increase spending.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

tinaW,

Then why the HELL isn't Japan MODERNIZING its agriculture so it can produce more??? Japan has sat on its hands doing pretty much nothing to improve agriculture in this country, you cant blame the TPP, you need to blame your govt & JA THEY are the reasons farming products are expensive & massively inefficient!!!

Or maybe Japan doesn't really care about its people, no THERE is something for you to think about, use logic please not emotions & you might start to see whats so obvious to so many of us gaijin!

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Japan should either leave the TPP talks or be kicked out. If they're not there to play ball then that's that. Ironically that would be the best thing for Japan because the TPP is all about reducing government policy on the environment and copyright laws. Everyone else in the TPP is selling out their populations to unaccountable corporations. It's not an agreement worth supporting to begin with

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Chinese eat long grain rice. Japanese short grain. ''

Arsenic? I have been eating CA rice that immigrant Japanese farmers grow same way like Japanese suiden ever since I was shipped to USA but I am still alive in old age.

During WW II, we had too much crops tenant paid twice a year but hide because totalitarian decided everybody has to have same rice. After war, all nine cultivating farm owners had to giv their fams to tenant farmers (GHQ order). So, USA was not exporting rice to Japan. Immigrant Japanese farmers came back to Japan or became US soldiers for USA, Only trades were often rich people;s collection of Chinese curio, later they find as made in Japan. Kanji of NipponSei, some merchants sell as Chinese Ming curio. Rice was not shipped to Japan during WW II or before.

In my area in USA, Chinese restaurants used to use long grain but now they use CA short grain. Some people think short grain rice eating make them live longer like Japanese.

Instead of rice, wheat may be good to export to Japan. There are many beer brewin companies such as Kyowa Hakko Kirin beer. ****

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

Only 2.5% tariff? Thought was higher given cost of my Honda. Would think a scientific tariff on both sides would make sense so that consumers choose based on quality and distinction, not price.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Apparently, the price and quantity of Japan rice is correct, otherwise, the price would go up and there would not be enough to feed the decreasing population. Supply and demand does work.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Toshiko, aside from death, prolonged arsenic exposure causes confusion and neurological disturbances. Case in point.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

@Supey11APR. 20, 2015 - 02:54AM J Toshiko, aside from death, prolonged arsenic exposure causes confusion and neurological disturbances. Case in point

You scare me. I let you know if I have such disorder when I have 95 years old birthday.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Screw this deal! Stand strong against TPP! Crash the TPP! It is only for the benefit is US corporate greed! Screw the U.S. On this one!!

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Wish the U.S. protected its markets in this way.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

@jokam: Only Japan wanted to export something to USA Japan pushing is auto parts. And USA is opposing. Problem is there is not enough auto pats makers in USA and USA based car makers (both Japanese car makers and Mich dar makers ) want Japan export to USA. But USA is strongly opposing.

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

We all know how important rice exports are to the US economy, now that manufacturing has moved to China. Please, Japan, allow the poor Americans to export rice. There are still a few drops of water in California for another year or two of rice harvesting. If you can't buy rice, at least send food packages - preferably with fat and sugar substitutes, please.

Australia and the US both have enough water to pump out water intensive rice for another few years before we exhaust our water resources.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Without TPP and other deregulation of the economy, Japan is economically doomed. It is as simple as that. Japan has to realize that the world is a much different place than it was in the mid-20th century, when Japan had no competitors for low-cost labor market.

Exactly how does the 700% rice tariff affect Japan? First, Japanese end up eating less rice than they otherwise would. Next, the money which is spent on overpriced rice is money which cannot be spent for other things. And the people who make and sell these other things of course make less money. Eliminating rice tariffs will be tough on the farmers, but they make up only 1% of the population, and more than half of them are part-time farmers, they already have other sources of income. In addition to this, the average farmer is over 60 years old, and is already able to collection national pension benefits.

The notion that American rice has arsenic in it is stupidly ignorant. Apparently the writer doesn't know about America's tort systems, where people who get sick or injured by products or food can sue for astronomical amounts of money, and, having about half the world's lawyers, these lawyers are always looking for such cases. American food is quite safe, probable safer than Japanese food. If a Japanese food maker sells contaminated or mislabeled food, he apologizes, and promises not to do do again. In an American food maker does the same, he is sued in court, and not only has to pay for actual losses, but generally punitive awards as well.

Lastly, much Japanese rice is grown using American seeds, and, funnier still, nearly all fertilizers and pesticides are the same as those used in America.

If Japan cannot budge on even this basic part of TPP, they need to be thrown out.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

The notion that American rice has arsenic in it is stupidly ignorant.

I'd never heard of it, but a quick search shows that the FDA admits/agrees that there is arsenic in rice: http://www.fda.gov/Food/FoodborneIllnessContaminants/Metals/ucm319870.htm

And Consumer Reports, which I believe is a reliable source, though I'm not entirely sure of that, has a lot to say on the matter: http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/magazine/2015/01/how-much-arsenic-is-in-your-rice/index.htm

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Rice, farmers use unpeeled rice. There is no rice seed. It is not like apple or pear. never heard rice seed. Farmers bring rice to area Sei-mai=sho to separate from outer light yello peel and get their rice to be eligible. Ditto with Calif rice. They don;t ship 'rice seed' to Japan.Again rice do not have seed.

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

@sangetsu03 "American food is quite safe, probably safer than Japanese food"

Having goal to push US rice on Japanese market, you should use much more complicated propaganda slogans.

-10 ( +2 / -12 )

" Having goal to push US rice on Japanese market, you should use much more complicated propaganda slogans.**

Don't think sangetsu has any goal of pushing US rice on Japanese market but anyway, if you don't like it, don't buy it. But why do you want to deny others the free choice?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

The last report is that Japan will import 50,000 tons of USA rice. 1/4 amount of USA request. No cars yet. Japan is requesting US import Made in Japan auto parts. As there is hardly any American companies that make auto parts, both Mich based auto makers and Japanese brand auto makers want this to be done, There are branches of Japanese auto part makers in USA. But they need more. - both Mich automakers and Japanese brand automakers such as Toyota, Honda, Nissan. Mazda, Mitsubishi, Suzuki, and what ekse? Hyundai, KIA, too. I don;t think long grain rice is included in this new import amount.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

What would be the problem by leaving everything the way it is? Japan keeps eating its own rice and paying tariffs on car parts. The US keeps it's produce of the table of Japanese and everybody is happy. I don't see the point in making any changes. The only ones fighting for this are US and Japanese big corp. I don't think the general populace wants any changes.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

While I agree with what is being said here. I think it's interesting the reaction it's getting in the US which seems to be quite negative. From what I can gather the TPP would expand the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) "trade" pact model.

Which has spurred massive U.S. trade deficits and job loss, downward pressure on wages, unprecedented levels of inequality and new floods of agricultural imports. The TPP not only replicates, but expands NAFTA's special protections for firms that offshore U.S. jobs.

The U.S. TPP negotiators literally used the 2011 Korea FTA under which exports have fallen and trade deficits have surged. As a template for the TPP.

It would also provide incentives to offshore jobs to low-wage countries. Many would impose limits on government policies that we rely on in our daily lives. For safe food, a clean environment, and more. Our domestic federal, state and local policies would be required to comply with TPP rules as well.

It would require us to allow food imports if the exporting country claims that their safety standards are "equivalent" to our own.

Even if it violates the key principles of our food safety laws. These rules would effectively outsource domestic food inspection to other countries.

Imagine Japan allowing imports from China which have known food safety violations.

Under the agreement any U.S. or Japanese food safety rule on pesticides, labeling or additives that is higher than international standards would be subject to challenge as "illegal trade barriers."

The U.S. and Japan could be required to eliminate these rules and allow in the unsafe food under threat of trade sanctions. Now I don't think US, Japan imports are what the problem is here. It's all the other countries which don't have the same strict guidelines we do.

Since this trade agreement involves some 12 countries. What protections would we have to keep unsafe food out of the Japanese & US markets?

I can also see this applying to medications or generic prescription drugs which could be a disaster. To me the TPP sounds like a corporate power grab.

Which is intended to minimize litigation and maximize profits for their corporate coffers.

Anyways I came across an interesting comment on the Hill you guys should read. It only reinforces what I have said here and gives us more reason to be wary of this act.

http://thehill.com/blogs/congress-blog/foreign-policy/239123-former-ustrs-president-must-have-fast-track-to-complete

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Tinawatanabe, toshiko, et al ...

So neither can yet answer why a 700% tariff is needed on US rice IF Japanese do not want it.

"Let Japan become poor country before buy US rices" - Tinawatanabe

"US rice is poison" - Toshiko

Oh yes indeed and again Tina is more than wrong.

Toshiko is insane

Yet neither can answer why farmers are paid not to plant to keep prices inflated and JA pays farmers not to plant to keep need of Japanese rice high, but neither can answer WHY?

But yet we see when Tina writes:

Because US might stop again in the future

Stop what? The US never imported rice to Japan because as Tina writes:

We rather starve than depend on foreign food. Japan always for Japanese.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

@kyusyubill: I never write uS rice is poison, I wrote I have been eating USA rice since I was shipped to USA.

Check my comments. Also when you asked such questions?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The American rice cannot made sushi, just tell that straight foward in TPP talks,Mr Amari!

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

The gall and arrogance of the Japanese is astounding. The US should make no compromises. Japan either agrees to the US's demands or they pack up and leave.

Japan needs TPP to survive. The US doesn't.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

@elephant200APR. 21, 2015 - 12:18AM JST The American rice cannot made sushi, just tell that straight foward in TPP talks,Mr Amari!

I just buy American rice and I sometimes make sushi. There is no Japanese rice in my area. I live nearby Las Vegas and all of casino-hotels have all you can eat buffets where you can eat many sushi as you want. They use USA rice. There are many sushi restaurants and I am sure they use USA rice (more likely CA rice).

0 ( +0 / -0 )

My biggest concern is that a TTP agreement with America would open the way to imports of unlabelled GMOs, hormone-laced meat and dairy, and HFCS in everything. We've seen how the big guns like Monsanto have pulled out all the stops in America to try and prevent the clear labelling of products, claiming it would 'confuse' the consumer. Would Japan be prevented from informing consumers about what is going into their shopping baskets, if proper labelling was declared to be an illegal impediment to 'free trade'?

By all means open the market to produce from overseas; Japan cannot produce enough food to feed itself. But leave consumers the choice, and give them the information they need to be able to make a meaningful choice. I would not like to see the day when I cannot buy a block of tofu because it probably has GMO in it but I have no way of knowing, a bag of sembei because it probably is made from arsenic-rich imported rice, or even a biscuit because it probably has a hefty dollop of HFCS in it.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Just in case it hasn't been mentioned: this is less to do with rice, and much more to do with pork....

0 ( +0 / -0 )

of course when it comes to many food products, Japan is nowhere near self sufficient. But can someone shows us the exact figure or proof that Japan is "not" nearly self sufficient when it comes to rice? this article by a similar site japantimes.co.jp for example, says that Japan is self sufficient in rice, other sources says likewise...

http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2008/02/26/reference/japan-needs-imports-to-keep-itself-fed/

http://ricepedia.org/japan

The reason why Japan is importing rice, for one, because it is cheaper to import. the quote from a source that I'd like to cite : " By the mid-1980s, Japan abandoned the goal of food self-sufficiency. Other countries could produce these goods more cheaply, and Japan could import them at less cost than it could produce them. Since the 1980s the overall trend has been toward decreasing food self-sufficiency."

http://www.crosscurrents.hawaii.edu/content.aspx?lang=eng&site=japan&theme=work&subtheme=AGRIC&unit=JWORK111

And the solution to fill the requirements of Japan's food self-sufficiency that the government are working on, for example can be found in this article :

http://www.japanfs.org/en/news/archives/news_id030007.html

0 ( +1 / -1 )

A 5kg bag of good quality American grown short grain Japanese type rice is less than US $20.00 and sometimes can be bought for $15

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Shiro Tsukasa Apr. 21, 2015 - 01:36AM JST But can someone shows us the exact figure or proof that Japan is "not" nearly self sufficient when it comes to rice?

The average Japanese farm is less than 5 acres, compared with about 440 acres for the average U.S. farm and many farmers are finding it more difficult to make ends meet. In a few more years, the Japanese goverment will remove the farmers subsidy that currently cost $46 billion a year. Why should average citizens get penalized for higher price of welfare farming subsidy? If some of these Japanese farmers are not growing anything, the least they could do is to grow other types of crops for their needs. Most Japanese farmers have very little money, no youth, and no future with majority of Japan’s farmers that are senior citizens. Due to an aging farmers, J-goverment has to make tough decisions for their future. The country side Japan's farmers is already approached some sort of dead end by the result of depopulation, trade liberalization and depleted government handouts. Japan now imports over 60 percent of its food. A change in TPP agreement with U.S. could be the end of inefficient rural commercial rice farmers in Japan.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@HawkeyeAPR. 21, 2015 - 04:36AM JST A 5kg bag of good quality American grown short grain Japanese type rice is less than US $20.00 and sometimes can be bought for $15

In COSCO and Walmart, it is a lot cheaper in our area than $15. Botan rice, etc.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

CA short grain rice tastes better with "salty" Korean-style nori.

Never shop @ Marukai or Nijiya for rice. Its a gyp. Local southern CA Korean supermarkets have the same for less. Even the "Hon-dashi", Maruchan, Kikkoman, Morinaga etc. products are cheaper.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Nori is not rice. It is dried seaweed. Hindashi is powdered soup stock and its main ingredient is kasuo-bushi, Maruchan ia ramen Kikkoman is soy sauce. Morinaga is famouse on chocolate and also the family of Mrs Abe has owned generations and still famouse on its better than Hershey chocolate, TPP talks of rice is about USA rice., pork and other US farm product.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

tinawatanabe is right: Japan does not need U.S. rice. It's probably genetically modified and full of toxins like every other American produce. I'll pay more for rice grown in Japan. Yeah, the farmers in Japan are government-subsidized, but at least they're human farmers, not machines. To hell with American factory-farmed, genetically altered foodstuffs.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Mr. Noidall: probably is not good to convince me. Will you please write your source of info? Also what kind of toxins? If you have info, Japanese sake brewers are ready to use imported USA rice. . What is the name of American farm factory?

Japan already agreed to import 50,000 tons of USA rice. The amount is 1/4 of USA wish.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

@Strangerland: Thanks to let me know link. I copied rice but ignored rice products as this TPP sxporting is Rice. I will keep eating white short grain rice only even these FDA testing result is very old.

Rice White, long grain 4.6

Rice White, medium grain 3.6

Rice White, short grain 3.5

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Rice imported from the USA will probably be used for the manufacture of cheap osenbei--or perhaps as pig food. Or it could be exported to feed the starving multitudes in Africa. Surely no self respecting Japanese would eat,by choice, anything other than local rice.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

@seadog: 50,000 tons will be exported from USA. !/4 amount USA wanted. As Sake making corporations are eager to buy these American short grain rice, unlikely going to be sold for consumers.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Buta no esa da! Japanese have too much pride to eat American rice. @ seadog, yup it will be used for cheap osembei.

Thank goodness for my local "bakery" for all the delicious pan. Rice is WAY overrated weather its long, short, medium or "fried"-

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Pork is s[ecified/ USA have people obesity. And bsacvon id not only pork but turkey bacons are in market. I think U/SA is going to dump pork to Japan. They prefer Kobe beef than pork chops in USA

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Japan has to protect its own farmers even if it means Japan becoming a poor country.* so the other 97% have to keep supporting JA through high food prices (many of those struggling to pay the bills each week) because the other 3% refuse to let them have a choice. that about sums up the whole selfish fiasco that is JA

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

USA coerced Japan to join TPP to export Mich made right handled cars to Japan. China is not a member.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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