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HOME  > Past issues  > 2009 November 18 - 24  > JCP Kami demands cancellation of FTA negotiations with Australia and the U.S.
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2009 November 18 - 24 [ECONOMY]

JCP Kami demands cancellation of FTA negotiations with Australia and the U.S.

November 20, 2009
Japanese Communist Party representative Kami Tomoko at a meeting of the House of Councilors Committee on agriculture on November 19 demanded that the government stop negotiating with Australia and the United States to conclude free trade agreements (FTA) on the grounds that it will only destroy the viability of Japanese agriculture.

The agriculture ministry itself estimates that if a Japan-Australia FTA (now being negotiated between the two countries) lifts tariffs on imports, 99 percent of wheat and 100 percent of sugar production in Japan will disappear, said JCP Kami.

As for a Japan-U.S. FTA (bilateral negotiations have not yet started), private studies show that domestically-grown rice and grains will decrease by 82 percent and 48 percent, respectively.

Kami said, “If this is an accurate projection, rice production in Japan will suffer a devastating impact. The government should stop negotiating on an agreement.”

Agriculture Minister Akamatsu Hirotaka said, “The FTA will not sacrifice the country’s agriculture,” but Kami told him that U.S. officials in charge of the FTA had in fact said that negotiations without targeting farm products would be impossible.

However, the agriculture minister persisted in supporting the FTA, saying, “Both countries will promote free trade.”
- Akahata, November 20, 2009
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