politics

U.S. must show flexibility for TPP breakthrough, Japan says

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Japanese food safety rules are a crock of crap. All too often, even in Japan, a country that prides itself on cleanliness, you hear of food poisoning stories. I've seen some very nice clean places and I've seen some real roach hotels. So my real thought is that Japan's food standards are not to protect the Japanese citizens but to protect Japanese farmers. Just like the French and South Koreans, I don't see Japan opening its agricultural markets.

10 ( +12 / -2 )

Personally I think everyone needs to drop this TPP free-trade charade now - it ain't gonna be a fair and equitable deal for everyone who comes to the table as it's being made out to be. Too much calculus to get into on a message board about TPP. Basically, it'll end up just like every other multinational free trade agreement - one or two large corporations (not countries) will reap the benefits, and everyone else will be left with the bitter aftertaste of being sold bottles of snake oil.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

The original plan was for zero tariffs on all goods, and that is what most of the countries have agreed to. None wanted Japan in TPP because they knew Japan could never agree to such terms. American unions and politicians also don't want Japan in the agreement for the same reason. If Japan wants in, they should agree to the original terms, if not, they should stop wasting everyone's time, and get out now. Were Japan not involved, the treaty would have been completed last year.

10 ( +15 / -5 )

The United States wants Japan to open up its rice, beef and pork, dairy and sugar sectors while Japan is keen for a timetable

Eating US rice likes eating the small stones. It will promote indigestion for consumers. Eating US beef likes importing Mad cow decease. Eating US pork will promote cardiovascular decease due to excessive fat. US dairy food will promote gastrointestinal decease due to feeding growth hormone to the cows. Only Sugar import from US is absolutely safe for consumers.

Therefore Japan should be careful for implementing the TPP on the food import. Prevention is better than cure after all.

-16 ( +2 / -18 )

sangetsu03Mar. 31, 2014 - 08:21AM JST The original plan was for zero tariffs on all goods, and that is what most of the countries have agreed to. None wanted Japan in TPP because they knew Japan could never agree to such terms. American unions and politicians also don't want Japan in the agreement for the same reason. If Japan wants in, they should agree to the original terms, if not, they should stop wasting everyone's time, and get out now. Were Japan not involved, the treaty would have been completed last year.

The TPP isn't just about tariffs, it is also about protecting intellectual property, and many countries aren't happy about the direction the TPP took on this, and haven't signed for precisely that reason. Trying to paint Japan as the only party unhappy with the TPP is just wrong.

-6 ( +3 / -9 )

A condition of joining the TPP talks was that everything would be on the table, now the Japanese side are whining about the US being "inflexible" despite themselves refusing any tariff reductions on four key items.

I think the Japanese should leave the talks as they are not prepared meet the expectations of other members.

7 ( +10 / -3 )

@Nathaw you are so blind it isnt funny,, Japan has had" madcow" "birdflue" "foot in mouth" food mislabeling scanadals, food poisonings, crops, fisheries exposed to high levels of radiation all it the last 10-15 years. Japan is far from having the safest food in the world. so stop spreading BS until you look at the facts without bias

1 ( +2 / -1 )

NO TO TPP why? because it has "secret" deals that are not telling us for example copyrights enforcements that might have to bypass the laws of every country,if you copy a good song you bought on the net to another computer that will be illegal. Do you really want that in your life? the import-export chapters are 5 out of 29 chapters. If there are secrets agreements I wonder why are they secret in the first place. Common sense will be at least a red flag ! No sovereignty of your country and instead new laws from big companies tells you something?

http://www.counterpunch.org/2014/01/15/the-tpp-and-the-chamber-of-secrets/

Tpp will be mainly to protect BIG COMPANIES nothing more, not to protect you or me they do not care about the people or the environment they just care about the MONEY they make out of us.

http://my.firedoglake.com/letsgetitdone/2014/01/21/the-tpp-a-dangerous-proposal-whose-time-has-gone/ I do not know why Japan is not concerned about the secrecy of the TPP there are lots of sites exposing this charade DO YOU REALLY WANT TO LOSE THE LITTLE PRIVACY AND RIGHT OF SPEECH YOU STILL HAVE?

6 ( +6 / -0 )

“In order to make a breakthrough, the United States has to show flexibility,” he said.

Not going to happen, nor should it. Japan knew the rules for the talks before they entered -- no sacred cows. But now, as usual, they want to play by a different set of rules.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Good to hear about the copyright details. Why are they secret??

1 ( +1 / -0 )

bruinfanMar. 31, 2014 - 02:14PM JST Good to hear about the copyright details. Why are they secret??

Not really "secret" so much as "behind closed doors negotiations". The reason is that they'd have major implications on health care in most countries as copyrights for medications would now be international and using the utterly insane U.S. copyright standards that allow almost endless renewals (2000 year old willow bark, now know as aspirin? - still under copyright).

This would kill the generic drug market, raise medication prices through the roof and generally is the worst idea in the world. ... and the people negotiating the TPP would really rather that the public didn't know until it was too late.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

You know.. the United States is one country that protects its farmers like a Bear mamma her cubs.

The protectionism of South Korea, France, England and even Japan is almost nothing compared to the US.

And let us not begun with the US car industry.... oooohh, the big oil Kahunas are in there, and they want to sell the big-ass, high gas-consumption, low-efficient low-millage cars.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Japan asking the US for flexibility in order to conclude free trade negotiations....LOL...thats just the funniest thing I read in a quite a while. Now I have seen it all.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Inflexible? Pffft. There should be no need for flexibility in a free-trade agreement. You drop all your tariffs and import-blocking strategies and compete on an even playing field. Easy-peasy. If Japan or any other country isn't interested in opening their markets, that's fine. Just say "No, thanks," and let the countries who want to move forward on this thing do so.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

In politics, flexibility is a sign of weakness.

Sorry to say, and for better or worse, Japan is going to lose this one. This ain't the 80s no more. Japan needs a new game plan, and fast.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Yes, everyone has to show flexibility but not we, Japanese. White is black and black is white and for us to say not anyone else.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Say hello to GMO crop/crap, antibiotics and growth hormones in your food. The subsidized cheaper prices will of course destroy the Japanese market and force them to introduce GMOs etc as well. Thanks TPP, all hail the divine "free" market.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Heh. Japan wants the United States to change the rules of the TPP so Japan will join? I'm guessing Japan didn't read the fine print that said the U.S. was in the same boat as Japan. They're BOTH only negotiating for membership in the TPP. Ever heard of a non-member being able to change the rules of ANY group? I haven't either.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Japan has not much to gain from TPP. The only members so far are Singapore, Brunei, Chile and New Zealand. The only possible major countries are going to be the US, Japan, Canada and Australia. But there's no emerging BRICS with huge possible economic growth or anything else. Obviously the US is going to be having the lion's share, and will it even benefit the US? No, it will only benefit the US corporations, not the state or the people.

-10 ( +1 / -11 )

interesting- the US does not make light trucks- but charges a 25% tariff, the us does not make small cars- very true a small car is actually medium size- even in comparison to UK cars so all are a bit large for the Asian market.

the us wants Japan to open up all agriculture and drop all attempts at a higher standard- you might laugh at current standard in Japan - but when you no longer see blemish free fruit and all the rice is long grain, when the rice farms are distant memories- then you might rethink the deal

0 ( +1 / -1 )

See, I knew this was going to happen the moment the Japan asked to join the TPP talks. I stated then that it was a mistake by the Pacific rim countries to involve Japan in any free trade agreement. We all know, and the Japanese farmers know, that Tokyo will not cut out agriculture subsidy. Knowing that, why in the world would anyone invite Japan to a free trade market?

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

The absolute food snobbery I see everyday in Japan should be protection enough from Big Bad Bland American Rice and American foodstuff overall. There is a saying in the USA that rings extremely true.... "You get what you pay for". If the Japanese consumer is afraid of low priced inferior quality American imports then guess what.... pay your regular $5 or more for an Apple and shun the import. But also it is said "its better to have loved and lost then to have never loved at all". Well maybe its better to eat a cheap import apple than not to eat one at all due to it being too expensive. Japan is also becoming a country where the rich are getting richer and the poor poorer. Are they just going to price the poor out of many foods, fruits and vegetables completely.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

TPP isn't really going to improve the agricultural sector. It's just going to make it worse.

Sure the Japanese agricultural association needs an overhaul. But TPP is not the way to do it.

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

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