Election results show Japan’s support for TPP

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In a signal of support for the country’s participation in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations, voters in Japan backed Prime Minister Shinzo Abe by returning his Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) to power in the House of Councillors of the National Diet. Abe strongly supports the TPP.

In December, the LDP regained control of the lower House of Representatives from the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ), the major opposition party. [Last month, the LDP also took control from the DPJ of the important Tokyo Metropolitan Assembly.]

Japan is set to enter the TPP talks this week as negotiators from countries currently in the regional trade negotiations near the end of an 11-day round in Malaysia. The TPP now includes the United States, Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam.

The TPP negotiations are strongly supported by the U.S. pork industry, according to the National Pork Producers Council.

“The election results show Japan’s support for the TPP,” said NPPC President Randy Spronk, a pork producer from Edgerton, Minn. “And that’s important because having Japan in a final agreement is critical to the U.S. pork industry.” 

Japan is the top value export market for U.S. pork, accounting for almost $2 billion in 2012 sales, and its economy is second only to China’s in the region. Japan is the fourth largest U.S. agricultural export market overall, with 2012 U.S. food and agricultural exports to the country totaling $13.5 billion.

“TPP with Japan in it represents the single most important trade negotiation ever for the U.S. pork industry and for most of U.S. agriculture,” said Spronk.

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What is TPP?    
Japan  |  July, 22, 2013 at 08:08 PM

TPP has not been a major campaign issue. Opposition parties tried very hard to make it a campaign issue, but because both the LDP and the supporters of LDP did not want to. And US meat producers must notice that people in Japan have started to avoid U.S. meat for safety reason with the knowledge obtained through the TPP issue raised in Japan.

Japan  |  July, 23, 2013 at 12:15 AM

The election results show that most people are sick of the parlimentary deadlock between the upper and lower houses. It has nothing to do with the TPP which the vast majority of Japanese people and politicians oppose. US produce will never be popular in Japan because its safety cannot be guaranteed. Price is irrelevant. Japanese people would much sooner pay more for high quality, local produce than imported unsafe produce. This sentiment is gaining ground. Abe only joined the TPP discussions after being pressured by the business federation (keiranden).


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