Regarding the Oct. 28 article “Ministries mixed on merits of joining Pacific FTA“: Times have changed. I can remember coming to Japan over 20 years ago and hearing the Japanese defend the rice farmer as essential to “our culture.” Now he is about to be sacrificed to the interests of global corporations that successfully fill the Japanese with fear by throwing out numbers like “the loss of 812,000 jobs” (if Japan neither joins the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement nor signs economic partnership agreements with Europe and China).
I would like to see some balanced reporting and a number indicating how many family farms will be shut down, how many rural communities will die out, how many more people will move to the cities in search of jobs. With only nine out of 10 Japanese already living in overcrowded cities, heck, we still have lots of room for more. We have to fill all those corporate- built apartment complexes that are not selling so well now.
I long for the old days when Japan had some chutzpah and stood up for its citizens, not the corporate elite. The question that needs asking is: Who will pocket the extra “¥10.5 trillion by 2020” in gross domestic product (expected if Japan joins the TPP Agreement)? Certainly not the farmers.
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