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TPP Talks Quietly Enter the Final StagesYoshizaki Tatsuhiko

Secrecy has been the general rule for negotiations on the Trans-Pacific Partnership, but information is gradually coming out as the talks approach the homestretch. Participating countries can no longer afford to keep everything behind closed doors once the talks reach a stage that requires domestic coordination toward market liberalization. Japan, too, appears to be easing itself into that task.
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Reading Between the Lines of Obama’s Asia Tour

US President Obama’s four-country tour of Asia was not all smooth sailing. No final agreement was reached with Japan on the TPP free trade talks, and in South Korea all eyes were turned to its unprecedented maritime disaster. Still, the United States made steady progress in the objective of solidifying its position in Asia, including the US military’s return to the Philippines for the first time in 22 years.
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Timeline for April 2014

Consumption tax goes up for the first time in 17 years; Obokata Haruko faces her critics after the STAP cell controversy; and Japan welcomes Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott and US President Barack Obama. A look back at some of the top stories from April 2014.
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Timeline for February 2014

Japanese athletes experience success and disappointment in Sochi; a new governor defeats antinuclear candidates to win election in Tokyo; and record snowfall brings chaos to parts of Japan. Look back on the top Japanese news stories of February 2014.
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The Zombification of Japanese FarmingGōdo Yoshihisa

Japan’s current infatuation with farming ignores the ongoing decline in cultivation skills. The government has made agriculture one of the pillars of its new growth strategy, but the reforms it has proposed lack substance. Meiji Gakuin University Professor Gōdo Yoshihisa focuses on the dire state of Japanese agriculture.
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Peruvians Struggling to Find a Place in Japanese Society

Peruvians make up one of the largest expatriate communities in Japan. Nippon.com spoke with Elard Escala, Peru's ambassador to Japan, to find out more about these Peruvian expatriates and the ties between the two countries.
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China’s Summit Diplomacy and the Geopolitics of the “Indo-Pacific” RegionShiraishi Takashi

October was a busy month for top-level diplomacy in Asia. Bali was the site of the October 7–8 Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit and of the October 8 meeting of leaders from the countries participating in the Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations. These APEC and TPP meetings were followed by the Association of Southeast Asian Nations summit in Brunei (October 9–10), which was accompanied…
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What Japan’s Farmers Really Need Is FreedomAsakawa Yoshihiro

While welcoming Prime Minister Abe’s decision for Japan to participate in the TPP free trade talks, agricultural journalist Asakawa Yoshihiro takes issue with the Abe administration’s farming policy, calling for bold moves to free Japan’s farmers and food producers.
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Japan Must Engage China, Freeze the Senkaku Debate

We talk with Niwa Uichirō, Japan’s first ambassador to China from the private sector, about China’s economy and the deterioration of Japan-China relations over the Senkaku Islands. Niwa, who returned to Japan in December 2012, calls for the leaders of both countries to meet soon and put a freeze on the Senkaku issue.
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A More Confident Japan in a Strong Alliance: Michael Green Speaks

The international scene in East Asia remains fluid, but the new government in place in Tokyo is showing an energetic approach to economic policy and a more stable hand on the tiller of diplomacy. We spoke to the international affairs expert Michael Green about his views on Japanese politics and the country’s place in the regional and global picture.
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