Revoke agreement on framework for talks: JCP

The Japanese Communist Party has demanded that the agreement reached by the World Trade Organization on a framework for future talks on agricultural trade liberalization be revoked. On July 31, JCP Secretariat Head Ichida Tadayoshi published the following comment:

WTO agricultural negotiators reached agreement on a framework for future agricultural talks. It includes increasing the minimum market access for rice as well as imports of wheat and dairy products and setting upper limits to tariffs with the aim of keeping tariffs on agricultural products under certain levels. We are afraid that these provisions will be used to further press Japan to import more food even though its food self-sufficiency rate is now one of the world's lowest.

The Japanese government has opposed these measures on the grounds that they will deal a heavy blow to Japanese agriculture and called for the coexistence of agricultural system of different countries. In the light of this position, it is unacceptable that the Japanese government agreed to the framework for talks.

The current WTO agricultural agreement has helped the United States and some other big exporting countries increase profits and damaged food importing countries and developing countries as a whole. It has also threatened the world's family farmers, food safety, and the environment. These distortions will further exacerbate inequities under the recent agreement.

The JCP demands that the Japanese government withdraw its acceptance of the framework agreement and call for the agreement to be revised to include the establishment of trade rules that ensure food sovereignty. (end)

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