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Noda says Japan must decide soon on trans-Pacific trade agreement

28 Comments

Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda said Monday that he hopes to make a decision soon on whether Japan will participate in a future trans-Pacific trade agreement.

The prime minister made the comments during a visit to a farming village in Gunma Prefecture where he inspected a rice paddy, operated a rice harvester and bought vegetables at a supermarket.

Regarding the trans-Pacific trade agreement, Noda said the government cannot keep putting off a decision, NHK reported.

He also said that the government plans to outline a plan to revitalize the agricultural sector by the end of this month.

Japan is debating whether to join the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a trade pact being negotiated by nine nations including the United States, but the government faces strong opposition from farmers.

Last month, Kurt Campbell, the U.S. assistant secretary of state for East Asia, said that Japan and the United States needed to find new areas for cooperation and that the trade agreement was a “possible venue.”

“We need to have a conversation—a more straight-forward conversation — with friends like Japan about how we can find areas that we can work together” on, Campbell told a conference of the Pacific Economic Cooperation Council.

The United States and eight other countries — Australia, Brunei, Chile, Malaysia, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam — hope to announce a framework on the trade deal at an Asia-Pacific summit in November in Hawaii.

President Barack Obama’s administration has promoted the Trans-Pacific Partnership as a new type of deal that ensures labor rights and environmental standards, although globalization critics complain of a lack of detail.

Japan’s Central Union of Agricultural Cooperatives has campaigned vigorously against participation, saying the deal would reduce food security in a country where farmers — especially of rice — enjoy generous government support.

© Japan Today

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28 Comments
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He wants to decide soon because he will be out of a job soon enough anyway.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Noda's PM, so why not just decide? Nope... gotta just say it needs to be done and leave it to others to think of ways for others to do so.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

The final paragraph says it all:

Japan's Central Union of Agricultural Cooperatives has campaigned...

It's such a shame that playing the food security card gets so much attention.

0 ( +2 / -3 )

Sign the agreement already and accept the inevitable fate. The farmers have received enough subsidies and its time to correct these unproductive and inefficient agricultural practices. Go TPP

-1 ( +1 / -3 )

The price for vegetables is very very high right now, JA wants to keep it that way. TPP will pretty much make JA irrelevant, they will fight tooth and nail to keep their control. Will Japan decide to join the free market or will they retreat back to the traditional communist/isolationist ways...

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

no to this nonsensical and farcical trade agreement, which is geared primarily to serve the interest of:

USA AGROBUSINESS

at the expense of consumers, the environment, and family run farms.

the usa agrobusiness sector receives far more in subsidies than japanese farmers.

the food security issue is recognized by the UN, and in a conutry as densely populated as japan, it is indeed legitimate.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

some of the posts above sound like soundbites sponsored by american agribusiness.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

this monkey business makes me AGRO, but it is spelled

"AGRIbusiness"...

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

100 million -- completely correct. The JA, especially in the wake of the Tohoku disaster, is much too powerful to let Japan participate in this deal, although they need to desperately. An FTA between the U.S. and SK is about to be passed by Congress here. Japan is simply falling further and further behind by standing still. Doing nothing is no longer a viable strategy,

-3 ( +0 / -4 )

The US is one of the countries with the highest agricultural subsidies worldwide. Together with the EU they have stalled the WTO talks for this very reason and I'm sure they won't give up their subsidies for the TPP. For Japan, this means there definitely will be possibilities to continue with their subsidies for farmers albeit maybe in a modified form. It all depends on negotiations. It doesn't help to paint everything in black and white.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Both EU and American farmers receive huge subsidies

zichi -- so? Japanese farmers get HUGE subsidies, as well as protection from tarriffs as high as 700% and regulations designed to keep out foreign agricultural products. Wouldn't we all be better of if, as gonemad suggests, these all be lowered or done away with entirely in negotiations? Or do you like paying 500% or more the world price for your food? But, more importantly, Japan cannot hope to get its fair share of global trade in the 21st century unless it restructures its agriculture. SK did it, why can't Japan?

-4 ( +0 / -5 )

This agreement will destroy the Japanese economy, the answer is to reject it. Next Wall$mart will come into Japan and force all of the mom an pop stores, etc to close.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

We should join the TPP, it would kill agriculture sector in Japan but it has never been Japan's strength anyways. But with typical Japanese politicians trying not to piss off anyone, I doubt it will happen, sigh

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

1) STRONG ECONOMIC TIES BETWEEN RUSSIA AND CHINA

With eye on Kremlin return, Putin visits China

2) RUSSIAN LED EURASIAN BLOC EMERGING

The common economic space being formed by Russia, Kazakhstan and Belarus on Jan. 1 will unite 165 million consumers, capable of becoming a global economic hub that links Europe and Asia

3) EU MEMBERS

Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, United Kingdom

4) OPEC MEMBERS

Algeria, Angola, Ecuador, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Libya, Nigeria, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Venezuela,

5) NAFTA

USA, Canada, Mexico

As listed above, this issue is very, very complex and needs a careful analysis (pro/con) for Japan in my opinion. As far as NAFTA goes, fruits and vegitable from Mexico are not well inspected for safety in my opinion. Auto parts manufacturing went to Canada (Toronto) and Mexico (south of San Diego) from USA.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Japanese agriculture receives subsides and additional support in the form of 700% import tariffs. The system is designed to encourage farmers NOT to be productive. Domestic food production is at 40% bc the farmers and government don't want an oversupply which would cause price reductions. In addition due to the uncompetitive nature of Japanese agriculture, export is not an option. Of that 700% import tariff, 500% mask the inefficiencies and only 200% discourage foreign products. When purchasing fruits and vegetables overseas, you pay by the kilogram or pound, not per piece. I understand why the farmers are all in upheaval about this after sitting pretty for so many years.

On a different note, the TPP would be greatly beneficial the Japanese economy as a whole. Japan's reliance on the domestic market and consumer is over. The overly saturated market has created a stagnate deflating economy which will only get worse due to the aging and declining population. The TPP would open further markets and trade for Japan. All the big Japanese industrial players and companies are pushing for the TPP.

Oh, yea, this is just my opinion.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Yuriotani,

Sorry to disappoint u but Walmart is already here. Its call Seiyu.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

After WW2, Japans food production was at it height. But over time, production and supply outpaced demand. In order to maintain margins , the government implemented these subsidies. With these prices, export is impossible therefore the only way is to control supply. Japanese agriculture is careful monitored and controlled.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

I don't need foods from the other side of the world.

zichi -- well bully for you, but, unfortunately, since Japan can only provide 40% of its caloric needs, the other 99.9999% of the population does. Or does that not matter?

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

Although I would feel for the farmers, agriculture makes up a small percentage of the economy. For the better good of Japan, the TPP is the most viable option. I don't think the TPP would end farming in Japan but rather being much needed reforms. U might of never met a rich farmer but I've never met a poor one.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

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