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HOME  > Past issues  > 2020 November 11 - 17  > Kasai criticizes EPA with UK for leading to limitless liberalization of Japanese rice market
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2020 November 11 - 17 [ECONOMY]

Kasai criticizes EPA with UK for leading to limitless liberalization of Japanese rice market

November 13, 2020
Japanese Communist Party member of the House of Representatives Kasai Akira at the House plenary session on November 12 opposed a Japan-U.K. economic partnership agreement (EPA) as it will open a path for the limitless liberalization of the Japanese rice market.

The Diet on this day began discussing a bill to approve an EPA with the U.K. which will no longer be subject to the Japan-EU EPA due to Brexit.

Taking to the rostrum on behalf of the JCP, Kasai criticized the former government led by Abe Shinzo with its "free-trade" growth strategy for having sold out Japan's economic and food sovereignty to multinationals. He pointed out that trade "liberalization" such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership pact (TPP-11), the Japan-EU EPA, and the Japan-U.S. trade accords, in addition to Japan's low level of self-sufficiency in food has made the country's economy and society vulnerable to crises.

Kasai said that the Japan-EU EPA excludes Japan's rice from removal of or cuts in tariffs, and that it is very likely that the staple food of Japan will become a target of the abolition of tariffs under a Japan-U.K. EPA. He added, "A new trade deal with the U.K. will accelerate the move to liberalize the Japanese rice market without limit."

Kasai demanded that the government radically improve the agricultural production infrastructure, increase the food self-sufficiency rate, and expand domestic demand so that the country's economy can be strong enough to cope with future crises.

Past related articles:
> Japan's food self-sufficiency rate rises by only 0.4 percentage points [August 26, 2020]
> JCP Kasai opposes bill to approve Japan-EU EPA [November 21, 2018]
> Japan signs EPA with EU amid farmers’ opposition [July 18, 2018]
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