politics

Trump asked Japan to buy farm products: report

35 Comments

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

© (c) Copyright Thomson Reuters 2019.

©2019 GPlusMedia Inc.

35 Comments
Login to comment

I keep telling you, any trade deal with Trump administration involves the US opening no new market to Japanese product and services while Japan opening up its agricultural product and services market to the US businesses, including rice. If Japan resists, then Japan gets slapped with a 25% auto tariff on Japanese auto exports.

Right now, Trump must find buyers for American soybeans and other produces to satisfy his rural community supporters in the wake of Chinese boycott of American soybeans, so Trump has decided that Japan would be his substitute market for agricultural product originally meant for Chinese market.

4 ( +9 / -5 )

Trump is in big trouble with American farmers - China refused to buy farm products from US...

9 ( +11 / -2 )

Who is Japan? The Japanese government cannot order Japanese people to buy American farm products. There are no state-owned agricultural companies in Japan to my knowledge, in fact, the agricultural industry in Japan is heavily unionized and organized in their lobbying efforts to make the government impose tariffs or non-tariff protections against foreign competitors. Even if American agricultural products are freely sold on the Japanese market, you can't make the people buy them.

Trump thinks he can micromanage an economy like he micromanages a business. It doesn't work that way. The economy is not a number or a machine that you can micromanage. Trump, as a businessman, is entirely used to focusing on the numbers, in this case, he think the GDP and trade numbers represent the economy, and therefore if he can make them go up, it means the economy is doing good. Well, it's not, and it doesn't work that way. Those numbers are entirely meaningless, because countries do not trade with each other, PEOPLE trade with each other. Standards of living are not represented in those GDP or trade figures.

Trump is sacrificing the entire population just to help few businesses have less foreign competition, as a result, the "figures" will go up, and he will think he is "winning", all while the average American will pay twice, even triple the price for everyday items.

Tariffs and other protectionist or trade-restrictrive laws must be forbidden in the constitution.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

@IloveCoffee

The Japanese government cannot order Japanese people to buy American farm products.

Are you sure about that? Japanese restaurant and food processing industry would ditch Japanese farm produce and switch to American farm produce imports in a heartbeat if allowed to.

For example, Gyudon industry cannot exist without American beef and bentos are made with the cheapest available rice, often from Fukushima, so if even cheaper American rice became available, there would be a massive demand.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Joint Statement of the United States and Japan issued September 26, 2018

5. The agreement mentioned above is designed to be mutually beneficial, and, in conducting those negotiations, the United States and Japan will respect positions of the other government:

For the United States, market access outcomes in the motor vehicle sector will be designed to increase production and jobs in the United States in the motor vehicle industries; and

For Japan, with regard to agricultural, forestry, and fishery products, outcomes related to market access as reflected in Japan’s previous economic partnership agreements constitute the maximum level.

Pretty much the same tariff schedule aligned with TPP for meat and wheat. Somebody needs to remind him that soybeans are tariff free.

So, in conclusion, pretty much the same as TPP which Trump exited but essentially will agree on in the future.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Neither Trump nor US farmers want a truly open Japanese market. Australia, Canada, Thailand, etc. are actually the countries offering the best quality and price on many agricultural items Japan imports from the US. As with its purchase of F35s, Japan buys from the US to fend off criticism, not because US producers offer the best quality for the best price.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

What's all the hubbub? Everyone knows abe will follow his master whichever way he's told to. Nothing to see here.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Abe and his like should become familiar with the phrase and title of a book, "Everything Trump touches dies." Only heard of the book, but the title is very apropos. I guess Abe also didn't hear or read about the fake Asian accent that trump used mimicking him, and I wonder if his advisors are keeping him abreast of all the so-called trump inner circle who fell from the orange king's grace who were later belittled on twitter. Stay away from any deals with this orange toxin, it's only to find an out for his disastrous agricultural policies.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

American rice? OH YUCK! It has that no good taste! The "Japanese strains" only taste a little better. Wheat perhaps but by the time dairy gets to Japan it is bad. I have had the milk from the commissary and it has a distinctive bad taste. Soybeans would make good fodder for animals.

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

The purchase would be worth several hundred million dollars including transport costs

This is a drop in the bucket compared to what they lost to the chinese via the trade war...and no story about trump mocking abe and moon???

They dont need worthless crops, they need F35s, missiles and nukes...

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I keep telling you, any trade deal with Trump administration involves the US opening no new market to Japanese product and services while Japan opening up its agricultural product and services market to the US businesses, including rice. If Japan resists, then Japan gets slapped with a 25% auto tariff on Japanese auto exports.

but this is what Japan has been doing to the US for decades.....

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Just open up the trade options to the importers and allow the market to determine if there's a demand.

Just buying without demand just adds to food wastage.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Trump's short term socialism is becoming international!

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Making American Great. The US going cap in hand begging nations for trade.

This should make it obvious that the US needs the world, without the support of other nations the US is a drop in the bucket.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

 Soybeans would make good fodder for animals.

Unless you never buy processed or prepared foods and never eat at inexpensive restaurants, you are almost certainly already eating US soybeans quite regularly.

I am not a big fan of US agriculture in general, but too many Japanese have this illusion about where their food comes from. It may be true that shoppers in supermarkets my want to avoid US produce, supermarkets account for a small percentage of the food imported by Japan. When I was in the business, supermarket business was too small to go after.

The vast majority of foods imported into Japan are sold to food processors, such as Ajinomoto, and to wholesalers who supply cheap food chains such as Yoshinoya or konbinis.

There is often no indication of where the ingredients in processed foods come from. And where there is, people don't seem to bother checking. Look at the packages of frozen spinach or broccoli in your local supermarket. Mostly from China.

So when you eat a dish with tofu at any chain restaurant, any konbini, etc. you are probably eating US soybeans. If Japanese soybeans are used, it is almost always loudly marketed that way. Absent any information on the source of the food you are buying, you can be pretty sure the produce is from China or the USA.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Why should they when he mocks them behind their back.

Trump Does Racist Japanese And Korean Accents For Guests At Fundraiser

https://www.politicususa.com/2019/08/10/trump-racist-japanese-impression.html

Trump kept returning to hit back at the “fake news” media attacks on him, saying of claims from the Democrats that he is a racist, “That is the only ammunition they have.”

Trump also made fun of US allies South Korea, Japan and the European Union — mimicking Japanese and Korean accents — and talked about his love of dictators Kim Jong Un and the current ruler of Saudi Arabia.

The fundraiser wasn’t Trump’s first racist fake accent rodeo as president. Trump also did a racist impression of Chinese people while speaking to the nation’s governors in February.

Dump projects everything that he is!

Surprisingly! Not one article on JT about it!

4 ( +6 / -2 )

SilvafanToday 10:47 am JST

Why should they when he mocks them behind their back.

Trump Does Racist Japanese And Korean Accents For Guests At Fundraiser

It does seem very strange that this story has been ignored by large sections of the global media. There's an article about it on the Korea Times website (even the staunchest pro-US right wingers there are unhappy) but little elsewhere.

"When it came time for him to re-enact a conversation with Prime Minister Abe regarding trade tariffs, Trump allegedly assumed “a fake Japanese accent.” The president then reportedly gushed about his supposedly close friendship with Japan’s leader, and his interest in Abe’s father, Zenji Abe, who was among the pilots who bombed Pearl Harbor:

Trump spoke about his friendship with Abe and how fascinated he was with Abe’s father, who had been a kamikaze pilot. Trump asked Abe if the kamikaze pilots were drunk or on drugs. Abe said no, they just loved their country. Trump remarked, “Imagine they get in a plane with a half a tank of gas and fly into steel ships just for the love of their country!”

Even by Trump's abysmal standards there's some pitiful stuff here:

https://www.spin.com/2019/08/trump-racist-impressions-hamptons-fundraiser-abe-moon/

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Throwing a life line to Trump when he needs the support will be a good bargaining cheap in future negotiations on trade deal we still need to sign with U.S.

Dont listen to the haters they always have a double agenda in the end.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

YuriOtani: “American rice? OH YUCK! It has that no good taste! The "Japanese strains" only taste a little better. Wheat perhaps but by the time dairy gets to Japan it is bad. I have had the milk from the commissary and it has a distinctive bad taste. Soybeans would make good fodder for animals.”

Keep it up; more trash talk like this only serves to make clear what countries are dealing with when it comes to trade with Japan. Such puerile and misinformed comments, widely held here, will eventually boomerang back on you puncturing your breathtaking arrogance that America would never do anything to deny Japan continuing unfettered, unreciprocated market access.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Japan's food self-sufficiency is only 38% so it is vital that Japan produces more agricultural products to feed the nation in case of emergency.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Abe: "He talked to me! He talked to me! (pant pant) Of course, of course, Mr. Trump! I'll do whatever you want!"

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Every year Japan imports millions of tons of American high quality short grain rice from California. The exact type growth by domestic farmers. Also grown by American Japanese farmers.

This was forced on Japan under WTO rules. The imported rice is sent to Hokkaido where it sits in government funded silo's for two years, at at a cost of ¥150 million per year.

After two years, the rice is declared unfit for human consumption and sold off for animal feed.

Less young people are interested in farming. More city farming in skyscrapers with high tech. More robot farming.

Japan needs to have a level of food efficiency of 60-80%.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

There is no difference in quality and taste between Japanese short grain rice and the California short grain grown by the Japanese farmers using the same types and methods.

Some prefectures are now growing high yield rice with lower taste and quality than the California rice.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

There is no difference in quality and taste between Japanese short grain rice and the California short grain grown by the Japanese farmers using the same types and methods.

This may be true, but growing a water-intensive crop like rice in a water starved region like the western USA is the height of wastefulness, and should be opposed by anyone who believes in sustainable water use and agriculture practices.

If California rice farmers paid the true cost of the water they used, it would come out much more expensive than Japanese rice. Growing rice in California is a disgrace, and an environmental crime.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

If California rice farmers paid the true cost of the water they used, it would come out much more expensive than Japanese rice. Growing rice in California is a disgrace, and an environmental crime.

The rice farmers own their water rights going back many decades. Back to the 1880's. They also understand the issue of water.

The water used on rice, which has shallow roots, drains off the impermeable clay and flows back into the system, where it can be reused. That, farmers say, is in stark contrast to the year-round watering that the state’s ever-increasing almond and pistachio orchards need.

https://www.sfchronicle.com/science/article/California-rice-farmers-put-water-rights-to-work-6405452.php

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Why does Japan have to be burdened with the transport costs of unwanted US produce?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Zichi: “Every year Japan imports millions of tons of American high quality short grain rice from California”

More fake stats meant to quell the growing disquiet about Japan’s penchant for managed trade domestically while insisting on openness everywhere else.

The true figure, easily obtained in a 2 minute search, is approximately 300,000 tons, a tiny fraction of your brazenly inflated one.

https://www.ers.usda.gov/topics/crops/rice/rice-sector-at-a-glance/

0 ( +0 / -0 )

oyatoi

The true figure, easily obtained in a 2 minute search, is approximately 300,000 tons, a tiny fraction of your brazenly inflated one.

I accept your corrected figures but over ten years still adds up to 3 million tons which ends up as animal feed instead of consumption. Japan has been importing the rice since the early 1990's.

But the figures for the WTO are suppose to be higher. In 2007, Japan agreed to import 770,000 tons.

The USTR was referring to the fact that Japan was supposed to import 770,000 tons of unmilled rice for the year but the amount purchased was about 70,000 tons short of that level.

https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2009/04/02/business/u-s-urges-japan-to-fulfill-minimum-access-rice-obligation/#.XVPY3y17G7M

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Abe government will have to buy the U.S. farm products to buy Trump’s tongue against selling Japanese radioactive Fukushima farm and marine products.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Are you sure about that? Japanese restaurant and food processing industry would ditch Japanese farm produce and switch to American farm produce imports in a heartbeat if allowed to.

For example, Gyudon industry cannot exist without American beef and bentos are made with the cheapest available rice, often from Fukushima, so if even cheaper American rice became available, there would be a massive demand.

What you said did not disprove what i said. Those are private restaurants, and their decision to introduce American beef or other farm products is not dictated by the government. Ultimately, if their customers do not want to eat it, they will be forced to stop buying it. It is the customer that makes the final decision.

I agree that, if American agricultural products were freely sold on the Japanese market without non-tariff protections, it is likely that many Japanese would buy them, if not for the quality, for the price. However, that does not disprove my point, which is that, the government cannot force people to buy American products.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Buy Japanese farm products first. is America trying to kill Japanese farmers ???.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

The rice farmers own their water rights going back many decades. Back to the 1880's. They also understand the issue of water.

A corrupt system introduced long ago, when exploitation was the game and sustainability was unheard of.

The water used on rice, which has shallow roots, drains off the impermeable clay and flows back into the system, where it can be reused. That, farmers say, is in stark contrast to the year-round watering that the state’s ever-increasing almond and pistachio orchards need.

Most of that water is lost to evaporation. The only advantage rice provides over almond trees is that the almond trees create LA levels of dust pollution in the valley when they are shaken by machines to be harvested. There is a reason desert region civilizations didn't base themselves around rice.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

“my point, which is that, the government cannot force people to buy American products.”

Not American products, indeed! But the Japanese Government can and does force Japanese people to buy Japanese products through its reliance on tariff instruments designed to quarantine the Japanese market from having to go head to head with imports that are usually much cheaper and of comparable if not superior quality. The closed rice market is illustrative of what happens across virtually the entire economy. Only a small fraction of the 300K tons of rice bought annually from America is allowed in at the low tariff rate to be sold in the domestic direct consumption market at places like Gyomu Super. Most of the 300K tons ends up as corn chips and other rice based products which don’t threaten domestic rice’s market stranglehold. Such restrictive trade practices have strong support among vested interests but are completely antithetical to consumer interests. Ultimately, it comes down to semantics. The Japanese Government cannot ‘force’ me to buy that $5 peach or $2 apple. I simply refuse to play their game, and either wait until they appear on the bargain rack or forego them entirely.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Every country wants to protect its farming including America and Japan is no different.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Some countries want to have their cake, and eat it too.

1 ( +1 / -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