Farm chief eyes promotional blitz to brace for TPP


Hiroshi Moriyama, minister of agriculture, forestry and fisheries, said Sunday the government will consider a new program to promote domestic farm products under the landmark free trade accord involving Japan, the United States and 10 other Pacific Rim countries.

Under the plan, contributions will be collected from domestic agricultural entities to fund projects that help stimulate demand at home and abroad, Moriyama said on a TV program.

In the United States, there is a similar “checkoff” program, in which funds are collected from producers of particular agricultural commodities to support promotion and research.

Moriyama later told reporters the government will carefully consider the matter as the system would not work without cooperation from producers.

“Details of the program will be studied from scratch,” Moriyama said.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe vowed earlier this month to take measures to beef up the farm sector to brace for market liberalization under the recently sealed Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade deal.

“We will strive to transform defensive agriculture into offensive agriculture so that young people can develop dreams,” Abe said.

Japan will abolish tariffs on all vegetables and most fishery products under the TPP agreement.

  • skillet

    Japan should have just rejected the TPP. It is a corporate coup against democratic government and small producers and small business.

  • GBR48

    The TPP will only be a victory for global corporates if producers and consumers allow it to be. Time to educate consumers into the benefits of shopping ethically, buying locally produced, fairly traded goods that don’t travel long distances. This does happen in Japan – the Natural House chain, sell organic and small farm produce. It needs to be more widespread.

    The threat of competition should encourage producers and the government to improve the marketing of locally-sourced produce, and shoppers into making ethical decisions when they shop, which will be good for the environment and for economic sustainability.

    Shopping is like casting a vote, whether it is to benefit local producers and environmental sustainability or the revenue streams of foreign corporates. You all get to vote every time you go shopping. Make it count.