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HOME  > Past issues  > 2021 April 7 - 13  > JCP: Japan should withdraw from RCEP free-trade framework
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2021 April 7 - 13 [ECONOMY]

JCP: Japan should withdraw from RCEP free-trade framework

April 10, 2021
Japanese Communist Party lawmaker Tamura Takaaki on April 9 pointed out that with the promotion of free trade by the government, Japan’s food self-sufficiency rate has fallen to 38%, opposing a bill to approve the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) free-trade agreement.

The bill regarding Diet approval for the RCEP trade agreement signed by 15 countries including Japan, China, South Korea, and ASEAN members is currently under discussion in the House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee.

At the Lower House committee meeting on the day, Tamura pointed out that the RCEP agreement is designed to eliminate tariffs on various vegetables and fruits and that 80% of fresh vegetables imported into Japan come from RCEP signatory nations. Tamura said that it is obvious that the RCEP will have a negative impact on domestic production of fruits and vegetables.

Furthermore, Tamura pointed out, “The government policy to remove tariffs on agricultural imports has taken away the future of younger generations in the agriculture industry and caused a drop in the farming population. Accordingly, Japan is experiencing a fragile food supply and the country’s food self-sufficiency rate has fallen to 38%.” He demanded that the government stop further liberalization of agricultural trade.

In addition, referring to the fact that amid the COVID-19 pandemic, many countries have implemented trade restrictions on food exports, Tamura said that Japan's dependence on imported agricultural goods may result in difficulty in obtaining enough food in the future. In this regard, the JCP lawmaker proposed a revision of the WTO system which is often criticized for undermining the people’s right to food.

Past related articles:
> JCP Koike demands that gov't make public the details of RCEP talks [November 17, 2020]
> Japan draws criticism for working to make RCEP a ‘second TPP’ [April 23, 2017]
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