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HOME  > Past issues  > 2017 July 5 - 11  > JCP and agricultural co-operative in Hokkaido share concern over Japan-EU EPA
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2017 July 5 - 11 [ECONOMY]

JCP and agricultural co-operative in Hokkaido share concern over Japan-EU EPA

July 6, 2017
With the Abe government negotiating an economic partnership free-trade agreement with the EU, two Japanese Communist Party lawmakers elected from Hokkaido on July 5 met officials of a prefectural federation of agricultural cooperatives to exchange views on how the trade deal would affect Japan’s agriculture.

In the Japan-EU EPA talks, EU negotiators are reportedly demanding that Japan eliminate tariffs on cheese and other dairy products, pork, and wheat products. Japanese farmers are voicing concern over possible damage to the domestic farming industry. The concern is especially serious in Hokkaido, Japan’s number one dairy producer.

On the day, JCP Dietmembers Kami Tomoko (Upper House) and Hatayama Kazuya (Lower House) visited JA Hokkaido Chuokai in Sapporo, the prefectural body of the Central Union of Agricultural Co-operatives (JA Zenchu). The JCP lawmakers explained that the party on June 26 petitioned the Agriculture Ministry and demanded that the Japan-EU EPA not be concluded in order to protect Japan’s economic and food sovereignty. They added that the JCP had urged the ministry to disclose information regarding the details of negotiations and projections on the EPA’s economic impact.

Hirayama Masahiko, secretary general of the JA group’s political body in Hokkaido, stated that Japan should not choose to sacrifice agriculture in the ongoing EPA talks.

Hayashi Ryohei, chief of the JA Hokkaido Chuokai’s section in charge of policies for dairy and stock raising farmers, pointed out that if the tariff on cheese is removed, it will increase cheese imports, depress demand for domestic raw milk, and adversely affect the dairy industry in Hokkaido.

JCP Kami said that the Abe government’s agricultural policy should be revised because it is based on the assumption that the “globalization” of Japan’s farming sector is inevitable.

Past related articles:
> Farmers urge the gov’t not to reach basic agreement with EU on EPA [July 4, 2017]
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