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HOME  > Past issues  > 2015 November 11 - 17  > JCP Kami urges gov’t to withdraw from TPP
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2015 November 11 - 17 [POLITICS]

JCP Kami urges gov’t to withdraw from TPP

November 12, 2015
Japanese Communist Party lawmaker Kami Tomoko on November 11 in a Diet committee meeting criticized the government for making a “broad agreement” in the Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade talks in defiance of a Diet resolution and demanded that the government withdraw from the pact.

In the meeting of the House of Councilors Budget Committee held despite the current recess of the Diet, Kami took up the issue of the TPP agreement that the Japanese government basically reached in October with the United States and ten other Pacific Rim countries.

Kami pointed out that the Diet had adopted a resolution which urges the government to exclude five key agricultural food categories (rice, wheat, pork and beef, dairy products, and sweeteners) from the TPP pact. The broad agreement, however, states that Japan should eliminate its tariffs on 174 items (around 30%) of 586 items in the five key categories. Kami stressed that this is a clear violation of the Diet resolution.

The JCP lawmaker singled out the issue of rice, which is regarded as the most important among the five agricultural products.

Kami underscored the fact that even now Japan imports 360,000 tons of rice from the U.S. under a tariff-free quota. If the multilateral trade pact takes effect, the U.S. will be able to export to Japan an additional 130,000 tons of rice tax free, she added.

Pointing out that Japan’s demand for rice can be sufficiently met by domestic production, Kami stated that there is no need to import rice from the United States. She criticized the government for being extremely subordinate to Washington.

Minister of State for Economic and Fiscal Policy Amari Akira merely replied that the government will take measures to isolate the imported rice from the domestic market.

Noting that the TPP will not take effect if either Japan or the U.S. refuses to ratify the accord, Kami urged the government to withdraw from the free trade framework which is provoking fierce public criticism both in Japan and the U.S.

Past related article:
> Japanese government must not sign TPP deal: Shii [October 6, 2015]
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