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HOME  > Past issues  > 2010 June 30 - July 6  > EPA, FTA will cripple Japan’s family farmers: Shii
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2010 June 30 - July 6 [AGRICULTURE]

EPA, FTA will cripple Japan’s family farmers: Shii

July 1, 2010
Japanese Communist Party Chair Shii Kazuo on June 30 criticized Prime Minister Kan Naoto for abandoning Japanese farm families by promoting a Japan-U.S. Free Trade Agreement and a Japan-Australia Economic Partnership Agreement.

The Kan Cabinet on June 18 decided on a strategy to recover Japanese economic strength, detailing the schedule for the next ten years toward trade liberalization of agricultural products.

Shii stated, “An EPA with Australia will deal a heavy blow to the country’s economy. For example, Hokkaido alone will suffer an estimate of about 1.3 trillion yen in economic downturn. An FTA with the United States will negatively affect 82 percent of the country’s rice growing regions.”

Shii pointed out that Japan’s big business sector is pressing the government to implement the plan to liberalize imports of foreign farm products and that the financial circles’ demands are behind the plan drawn up by the Kan government.

Shii stressed the need to protect the country’s food safety and security, stating, “We must stop the government from selling out Japan’s farmers and representing only the interests of the agribusiness sector and big business in general.”
- Akahata, July 1, 2010
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