• Nagasaki

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High food hygiene costs choking export growth” has got to be the most unresearched article I have read in The Japan Times in 20 years. The article contradicts itself: “According to JRO, only 21 companies . . . are authorized to export to the European Union, as they do not comply with the EU’s Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point system.” Twenty-one companies are authorized, but don’t comply? At a minimum I expect some proofreading.

There are no facts presented. What exactly is hygiene cost? The quote “Our biggest concern is that our exports are not being accepted by target countries” clearly states a different issue. Is there a marketing issue? Is it an issue of food not matching the customer’s tastes? Is it anything close to the huge hurdles that importers large and small alike face in terms of nontariff barriers to enter the Japanese market? I don’t think so.

A better question is, why would a country that imports up to 70 percent of its food look at growing food exports in the first place?

chris tierney

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