politics

Noda questioned in Diet over his vague statements on TPP

15 Comments

Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda was asked by opposition lawmakers on Tuesday to clarify his statement on Japan's decision to hold talks with partner nations on the Trans-Pacific trade framework (TPP).

During an upper house budget committee meeting, Noda said the government would not compromise what is important to Japan's national interests. He said Japan has the option of not joining the TPP talks if it is not in the country's interests, Fuji TV reported.

Noda has been criticized for the vagueness of his statements since he announced last Friday that Japan will participate in talks on joining the U.S.-backed TPP talks, a decision strongly opposed by farmers who say the move will ruin them.

Noda said that joining the TPP talks will allow Japan to tap into the region’s dynamic growth.

But he admitted that the way he worded his statement slightly backtracked from a clearer announcement to join TPP to show his consideration to the divisive issue. “I’m fully aware that TPP could provide a big merit but is also causing tremendous concerns,” he said. “We will defend what we must protect, and try to make gains where we can.”

Asked by an opposition lawmaker if Japan would ask for rice to be excluded from the list of products to be liberalized, Noda said it would not be prudent to reveal specific tactics at this stage, Fuji TV reported. He acknowledged that rice is a sensitive subject and said the government would use common sense to discuss the matter.

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15 Comments
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Government subsidies to rice farmers. Why is this so hard to accept? Farmers get the same salary that they were getting before, and consumers get to enjoy rice at half the price we pay now.

I dont know why people would be against this?

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Rice farmers are heavily subsidized, it's a spiritual thing that nobody else will ever understand. But the 800% tariff on importing Rice everyone gets. Give it 10 years and the average farmers age will be 75, might see a serious discussion about having a serious meeting to discuss the seriousness of the situation, until them dig deep and pay for these farmers at the till and through your tax...don't forget the interest your children will have to pay for the money borrowed to support them too.Rice is nice.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

He acknowledged that rice is a sensitive subject and said the government would use common sense to discuss the matter.

If Japan is to succeed in joining the TPP, rice must absolutely be sacrificed. This is for the good of the country. I don't care how sensitive it is, Japan can't afford a bunch of aging farmers to hijack the country. In the end it will be tremendous benefit to Japanese agriculture if they dispense with the tariffs. Joining the TPP will help all of Japan.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Noda has been criticized for the vagueness of his statements

As if opposition lawmakers would prefer Noda-san to speak in a straightforward manner? Gimme a break!

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Japan is being hijacked by the Americans again , forcing Japan to open its trading market , just like Americans did when Captain Perry arrived... It would signal the end of a once great culture ,and market.Sure it has its quarky traits , but so what ! Could you image the impact on every item traded in your local market ! Its a no brainer, join and be come just another Okinawa. "Would you like fries with that " Rice is wonderful in Japan , elsewhere they eat crap rice, its no coincidence that its short grain in Japan. Its a sacred item its not Ralphs supermarket .... No...it would be a travesty if Japan would give in to this ludacris idea ....whats in it for japanese ? Its all for America existing at the expense of their best friends ..sad but true. Ruining everything so they can sell ( genetically modified in many cases ) goods from USA. We love Japan for being japan .... keep them out I say ....

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Japan is being hijacked? ROFLMAO

Dokshin, it's not again. It' has always been so as you sit there in your JEANS or your WESTERN style suit, drinking your Starbucks, while checking your Iphone, on the INTERNET (Fail safe system to destroy you, now commercial) to see if you got EMAIL for a QR code so you can go to McDonalds.

You see, we've always been in. Furthermore, we were invited. It's a love hate relationship, don't you realize that?

Spank me!! I tell you Japan loves it. Man I can't even find a seat when I go to Costco. Oyaji spewing Anti-American this and that while lapping up the mustard and sauerkraut in the foil of his Costco Dog.

We don't even force this on them. They pay for the membership.

Japan will never lose her identity, maybe they're way, but never who they are. Relax, dokshinshatcho, this isn't going to hurt. TPP is just like a vaccination shot. It'll be over in a second.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Well....you know, being the PM of Japan cant say NO to the president of United States and there is no difference if LDP ruling

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Noda is moving himself into a defensive position without need. If he continues like this, he will be gone faster than his predecessors. He should aggressively push for what he thinks is correct (which is joining the TPP) while at the same time start to address the necessary agricultural reforms, which become necessary before Japan can join. His task is to show farmers how Japan can achieve that they won't suffer.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

The intention of the TPP is to remove ALL tarrifs. Japan will never agree to that. They will demand special consideration for their special unique country that produces special unique rice. It is for this very reason that U.S. Lawmakers want Japan to STAY OUT of TPP negotiations. They will just complicate things with their special demands.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Wow, a Japanese leader being accused of being vague. That's certainly a first. And giijinfo, you are spot on. This whole thing is likely to come to a fork in the road in the next year or so as the talks heat up. And, its entirely possible that the U.S. and the other countries are forced to say "thanks but no thanks" to Japan. They are not going to let one aging, declining country, incapable of making the changes it needs to, stand in the way.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Japan will make gains over the TPP participant countries but will protect her domestic market without foreign goods and services entry! Wow, you have got to love this 'common sense'!

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Noda only said Japan will join talks with TPP member countries on the subject of Japan joining the TPP. After that, another agonisingly-slow decision must be made on whether to join the TPP itself. That's assuming that the TPP members will allow Japan to join, which is unlikely given that Japan will demand exceptions for agricultural products.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The TPP itself is still vague. It was started in 2005 and still nothing on the table. It will take at least 10-15 years. A lifetime in politics.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

A politician making vague statements, really?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Rice is not a sensitive topic in Japan. The secret to good rice is clean water, not which corporation markets which brand of suihanki. TPP is not a sensitive topic, its what the salaryman wants and the farmer doesn't. Noda is a salaryman, not a farmer, so the future will be farmer uprisings, just like in America, Europe, and ME. It doesn't matter how many militant police the Japanese salarymen deploy, they are still 'yes men' who say 'hai' all the time, just like their fellow salarymen. The farmers know hardship, despite what the salarypeople say. And the farmers are allies with farmers in every other country. TPP is just the beginning of the end of the terror guys in suits market so that they can keep their fingernails clean, and buy high heels for short and fat girls so that they can pretend that they are not pigs in pretty outfits.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

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