politics

Japan, U.S. seek compromise on rice, auto trade

33 Comments
By ELAINE KURTENBACH

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

© Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

©2020 GPlusMedia Inc.

33 Comments
Login to comment

Japan is not needed in the TPP. Kick them to the curb. When they realize they've lost any chance to further get into the auto industry in the US because of stubbornness about old farmers here and their rice, Japan will come crawling back to the table and asking to be an exception, etc. They want everything, but are willing to give nothing. You'd think they know the tune 'let it go' well enough by now.

-1 ( +8 / -9 )

Imported rice, meat and diary will not be able to compete with local grown rice, meats and diary. low graded japanese rice still tastes better then any import rice and diary and meat is the same. The only product that the import will challenge would be ground beef and wheat use to make industrial food (breads, pizzas) and these product will competing against Australian import. Which Japan already has a Free Trade Agreement with.

-4 ( +6 / -10 )

TPP is good only for US corporations. Sadly Japan will accept all the American conditions, while it "seems" it is protecting its people interests.

2 ( +9 / -6 )

Like NAFTA, will only work to advantage of US corporations.

4 ( +8 / -4 )

John-SanApr. 20, 2015 - 04:05PM JST

Imported rice, meat and diary will not be able to compete with local grown rice, meats and diary. low graded japanese rice still tastes better then any import rice and diary and meat is the same. The only product that the import will challenge would be ground beef and wheat use to make industrial food (breads, pizzas) and these product will competing against Australian import.

The truth is that Japanese dairy, wheat and meat products are substandard and overpriced, and the reason for that is that the government has protected them from any foreign competition for way too long. The farmers in Japan are lazy and most are too old to put in de3cent day's work.

0 ( +7 / -7 )

"Have you ever tasted Japanese bread, it's tasteless white gunge?"

Have you ever tried regular English, with no run-on sentences, and sentence fragments?

I agree that the cheapest brands of shokupan are not exactly bursting with rainbows of flavor. But not all bread is bad.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

All in, or not in at all. Japan should stop being so childish. Quit protecting the already over-subsidised farmers. Let people get cheap rice.

Imported rice, meat and diary will not be able to compete with local grown rice, meats and diary. low graded japanese rice still tastes better then any import rice and diary and meat is the same.

You've obviously never tasted any decent long-grain rice.

2 ( +8 / -6 )

Sheesh, next we are going to get complaints that Japanese milk is not wet and soggy enough.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Have you ever tasted Japanese bread, it's tasteless white gunge?

Japanese bread is made from American flour. In flour US has conquered Japan already. What's your point in this?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

A kind of 'stress test' for Abe and for pleasant golden week holidays in USA, his cabinet will accept most of the conditions (of course in vague language).

3 ( +3 / -0 )

The farmers in Japan are lazy and most are too old to put in de3cent day's work.

The farmers in Japan are farmers. I used to think Japanese-grown food was overprotected and overpriced, but the farms in the US are nothing more than factories now. Government protection for corporations over individual farmers has allowed a handful of companies like Monsanto to take over all the farms and monopolize the industry.

Unfortunately, I think Japanese farmers are finished too if this deal goes through. As much as the Japanese public prides itself on "kokusan" foods, they'll chose with their wallets once cheaper imports become more widely available.

6 ( +9 / -3 )

and these product will competing against Australian import. Which Japan already has a Free Trade Agreement with.

The "free trade" agreement with Australia means the tariff will reduced to 18% over the next several years. Australia got shafted by Japan in the deal. As usual, to Japan free trade means "no tariffs on Japanese goods, and only double-digit tariffs on imported goods".

But TPP calls for an eventual "abolishment of all tariffs" traded between the member countries. If Japan cannot agree to zero tariffs, which it knew was the goal of the treaty when Japan joined up, then Japan has to get the hell out. The agreement said nothing about zero tariffs for everyone but Japan.

Of all the countries in the agreement, none needs it more than japan. If Japan doesn't join, it won't make much difference to the other parties, Japan's market has always been closed to them anyway, and they will make plenty of money dealing with each other. America of course, does not need Japan in the deal. America is already the world's largest exporter of food, and will continue to be whether or not Japan is involved.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Quit protecting the already over-subsidised farmers

Japan uses a tariff system, it's the USA that uses a subsidy system. Your "subsidy" in Japan is the higher price you pay at the supermarket. In the USA they just pay more tax, or have cutbacks of government services cause "THE GUBMINT GOT NO MONEY", because they already gave "the money" away to their friends in corporate big agriculture. Either way people pay.

Now if the TPP goes through we will in fact get cheaper rice in Japan, because the USA will dump their below cost of production, subsidized product on the Japanese market. Until they drive Japanese agriculture into bankruptcy and out of business. Then they will put prices up. See NAFTA, Mexico, corn. Enjoy your few years of cheaper rice.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

The U.S. hopes to export more rice, pork and other farm products to Japan.

The last thing we want is American pork:

The fabulous taste of bacon is more popular than ever. But if you are eating conventionally-produced bacon or other pork products, chances are great that you are consuming ractopamine, a livestock growth altering drug so dangerous that 160 countries around the world have banned its use. Not the U.S. though, where this chemical additive has been given the green light by the FDA, in spite of the fact that it endangers livestock and farm workers as well as consumers.

http://naturalsociety.com/beware-growth-hormone-ractopamine-drug-meat-pork-banned/#ixzz3XqH3LfPo

0 ( +4 / -4 )

OK let's answer some questions:

Why a 700% tariff on rice?

Well because gaikoku is danger countries so Japan needs to protect itself from the dreaded gaikoku. YET sponsors Paul McCartney to play concerts.

Why does JA pay Japanese farmers not to plant and pay subsidies to keep prices high?

Again - gaigoku is danger. Yet "Let it Go" is the top song last year.

Oh no gaigoku is so danger!

-4 ( +4 / -8 )

It's perfectly rational to be against the TPP and Japanese agricultural subsidies at the same time. It's not an either/or choice.

5 ( +4 / -0 )

Imported rice, meat and diary will not be able to compete with local grown rice, meats and diary. low graded japanese rice still tastes better then any import rice and diary and meat is the same

Geez if this was even close to the truth then please explain why Japan is trying to limit the total import of rice at 50K ton per year vs 250K ton that the US wants to export?

Koshihikari is produced in the US and is very much on par with Japanese rice, no matter what any media outlet tells you.

Japanese beef is out of the reach of the middle class and only the "wealthy" can eat it regularly, American beef along with Aussie, New Zealand and Canadian beef should over take the market because it is cheaper and in many ways "healthier" than the fatty types of Japanese beef.

Japan artificially controls the markets and the TPP will force farmers to collective find a better way to do their jobs without subsidizes (as they should) and the CONSUMER will be the winner!

0 ( +6 / -6 )

Yubaru,

So what happens if cheap US rice takes over the market in Japan?

The rice market will collapse and several thousand people will have no livelihood. All the infrastructure that depends on this will collapse. There will be bankruptcies and more people will be out of work. US products will be cheaper at first and the housewife will go for the cheaper product - especially if it is of the same quality. Then the prices will go up because, a) the investors, or "spongers" suffer from incurable greed and b) as the main transport system is oil based and oil is not going to get cheaper- even with fracking. And then, with little or no domestic product, Japan will be in real trouble. The CONSUMER will LOSE big time!

This is not to say that the subsidy system in place is a good thing. It has to change, but any change has to be phased in little by little and not overnight.

In addition to this, the products being pushed by large US corporations like Monsanto are NOT environmentally safe. Let us not forget that this is the same company that invented Sarin, Mustard Gas and Agent Orange.

The TPP is being negotiated in secret, with those directly affected by it being kept out of the picture.

This alone should stand as a warning.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

The rice market will collapse and several thousand people will have no livelihood. All the infrastructure that depends on this will collapse. There will be bankruptcies and more people will be out of work. US products will be cheaper at first and the housewife will go for the cheaper product - especially if it is of the same quality. Then the prices will go up because, a) the investors, or "spongers" suffer from incurable greed and b) as the main transport system is oil based and oil is not going to get cheaper- even with fracking. And then, with little or no domestic product, Japan will be in real trouble. The CONSUMER will LOSE big time!

This is pure ignorance talking here. Japan is not and can not survive without importing food. That is a fact. The consumer will be fine, as they will have options that are unavailable now, and those farmers that you worry so much about are only surviving today because of unbelievably high government subsidies, without which they would be out of business already.

Your fear-mongering is unnecessary and inappropriate as Japan already is importing literally millions of tons of food products from China yearly along with other SE Asian country's products as well.

The Japanese farmers will become a niche market, like with many products currently on the market now, including 50,000 yen strawberries and 150,000 yen mangoes.

And live and learn about Monsanto, you are just regurgitating information that you read somewhere without doing any factual research.

BTW just about all trade agreements are negotiated in secret that is nothing new, and to think otherwise is naive as well.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

@sangetsu

The "free trade" agreement with Australia means the tariff will reduced to 18% over the next several years. Australia got shafted by Japan in the deal. As usual, to Japan free trade means "no tariffs on Japanese goods, and only double-digit tariffs on imported goods".

You do like to go on about this.

You never seem to mention that free trade isn't so clear cut as to automatically abandon all tariffs. In 2005, Australia entered a free trade agreement with the US. Under the agreement, tariffs are still applied, to be phased out completely by 2022, a daring 17-year timescale. The current tariff for Australian imports to the US above a set quota is 26.4%.

Welcome to "free trade".

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Lest you think all Americans are in to the TPP.

The story of the TPP explained in 2 minutes here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3O_Sbbeqfdw

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Largely city-dwelling, price-conscious consumers would likely welcome cheaper rice and dairy and meat products, but lack the political sway of the rural electorate that has been the mainstay of support for Abe’s Liberal Democratic Party since the 1950s.

Pretty much says it all. The Japanse government/LDP is negotiating AGAINST the best interests of 97% of the population, so they can guarantee their continuation in office. And then they throw up their hands and cannot understand why young city-dwellers do not want to get married and have kids. Uh, duh, because you keep taxing them to pay price supports to these folks, and put up huge tariffs/import restrictions to make their cost of food, especially protein (meat and dairy), ridiculously high. The Japan Inc. model is broken, and shows no signs of change -- old, myopic thinking still prevails.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

The tariffs I mentioned are applied to beef, in case anyone's wondering.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Yubaru,

like with many products currently on the market now, including 50,000 yen strawberries and 150,000 yen mangoes.

Gosh, we do move in different circles. They may be at those prices where you live, but I've never seen fruit in Okinawa at anything LIKE these prices.

They'd rot on the shelves!

Strawberries in Okinawan supermarkets are pretty tasteless, but not that expensive. The mangoes here are EXCELLENT and in season you can get a decent sized bag for under a thousand yen. In farmers' markets the windfalls are really cheap and make great chutney!

Luckily there is a move away from mass produced produce and toward farmers' markets stocked with local produce.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

@Bertie: Turkey bacon, Kobe beef are popular in my area in USA.

carrs? Made in USA Japanese and Korean brand cars are popular but they are not included in TPP talks.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Imported rice, meat and diary will not be able to compete with local grown rice, meats and diary. low graded japanese rice still tastes better then any import rice and diary and meat is the same. T

Really? Then whats the problem? If the Japanese are so certain of their superior product, let the US have free access with their "low graded" exports and we will see who comes out on top. Or are Japan afraid of being exposed for what their beloved items really are? Overpriced and undesirable by people no longer willing to pay stupid prices for them?

1 ( +5 / -4 )

low graded japanese rice still tastes better then any import rice and diary and meat is the same.* man some people have NFI, ive tasted plenty of foreign cheeses milk and beef that totally blow away Japanese equivalents. while Japanese beef is nice its way too fatty and unhealthy, as for cheese!? what f cheese! japense milk is good but ive tasted much better, and dont get me started on Japanese low fat milks it taste like water.
0 ( +1 / -1 )

There seem to be a problem that U.S. have gotten convince that free market globalization is to their advantage somehow, or will be in some distant future. Think of all the great words that have come out of the think tank in Corporate offices and Washington the last 30-40 years. Things like outsourcing, globalization, service economy and emerging markets. As a business plan, corporations raced to cut the only real cost they could control and that was labor. So, at the expense to their citizens, they outsourced the manufacturing to third world countries offering slave wages. When they finally hit the point of no return, where the unemployed and underemployed could no longer afford even the "cheap imports", their new corporate strategy is the "emerging markets" which there are 1.3 billion consumers in China and only 300 million in the U.S., the numbers work for them. Throw the jobs, income and ability to spend in the U.S., bankrupt the system and concentrate on the "emerging markets" and the CEO's and their companies will in theory increase their business and profits 10 times. This is actually a flawed theory, but, never the less that is what there doing. This is also what Japan is also doing inside China, copying the footprints of U.S. The economy has been destroyed from the inside out and U.S. goverment have allowed it to happen. The "free market" doesn't work and history has shown that after NAFTA and other treaties were implemented, the workers in U.S. were screwed. Same thing will happen to Japan.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

@NathalieB "let the US have free access"

No, thanks. Eat GMO rice and similar poisonous products of US food corporations by yourselves. Stop imposing national crap to other countries !

0 ( +2 / -2 )

No, thanks. Eat GMO rice and similar poisonous products of US food corporations by yourselves. Stop imposing national crap to other countries !

I notice that there are plenty of rather uninformed or maybe just have their heads in the sand folks commenting here; don't anyone think for a second that Japanese rice has not been genetically altered. It has, in one way or another, and is still being done so today at research centers throughout the country.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Yubaru

Through cross pollination yes, gene splicing no.

GMO is about gene splicing creating a completely new gene sequence that had not existed in nature before making them dangerous due to not knowing the out come. Best example will be Monsato's Laundup resistant strains which devistated Indias crops and central American corn.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

'You participate a deal, you have a stake otherwise you have nothing !' What Japan is talking now is she wants a staje but no participation of her obligations because she is special. So what is the point to discuss this for??

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

I see turkey bacon and more turkey productdand less and less pork chops in my area markets in USA. So I suspect USA TPP wants o dump over produced pork using TPP and I will not call this kind of practice efficiency.

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