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HOME  > Past issues  > 2019 September 25 - October 1  > Shii issues statement regarding agreement in Japan-US trade talks
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2019 September 25 - October 1 [POLITICS]

Shii issues statement regarding agreement in Japan-US trade talks

September 27, 2019
Japanese Communist Party Chair Shii Kazuo on September 26 issued the following statement regarding an agreement on a trade deal which the leaders of Japan and the U.S. made at the latest bilateral summit meeting:

Japan and the U.S. reached an agreement in trade negotiations at the summit meeting on September 25. The Japan side unilaterally gave in to the demands of U.S. President Donald Trump. This was clearly shown by the fact that Trump allowed representatives of U.S. farmers’ organizations to be present at the summit meeting and called the trade agreement “a tremendous trade deal” for U.S. farmers.

Japan agreed to lower its import tariffs on U.S. beef and pork. On the other hand, the reduction of U.S. tariffs on Japanese cars and car parts was left for future talks. If Japan eliminates or reduces import tariffs on U.S. goods at a level greater than the TPP trade deal, Japan will be affected more severely than other TPP member countries and farmers, including livestock farmers, in Japan and local economies will suffer a severe blow. PM Abe insists that the agreed reduction level is lower than that in the TPP. However, in reality, he agreed to set up a special low-tariff import quota for U.S. livestock products and to purchase a large amount of U.S. corn. This indicates that Japan is set to offer preferential treatment to the U.S. beyond the TPP level.

The Japan-U.S. joint statement published after the Abe-Trump meeting states that the two countries will “enter into negotiations thereafter in the areas of customs duties and other restrictions on trade, barriers to trade in services and investment, and other issues”. This shows that PM Abe broke his promise to the general public that he will not enter into a Japan-U.S. free trade agreement. President Trump said that the U.S. will conclude a more comprehensive trade deal with Japan in the near future. The U.S. is urging Japan to make concessions in various fields such as finance, insurance, and foreign exchange. This is a serious threat to Japan’s economic sovereignty. In addition, politics tainted with lies and deception is unacceptable.

The Abe government has conducted trade negotiations by adopting an unacceptable stance of refusing to disclose the contents of the negotiations until the end of the House of Councilors election. The leaders of Japan and the U.S. have reached an agreement, but the Abe government still refuses to make public detailed information of the agreement. Such an attitude is far from democratic. Furthermore, PM Abe at a press conference asserted that the trade agreement will benefit all Japanese citizens. He appears to be unaware of the suffering of Japanese farmers, ranchers, and other people who will be adversely affected under the Japan-U.S. trade deal. We have to put an end to the anti-people politics without delay.

The Japanese Communist Party is determined to prevent the agreed trade deal from being approved by the Diet and work to cancel the Japan-U.S. free trade talks in collaboration with the general public.
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