INTERVIEW: New Japan Minister Keen to Boost Farm Exports to EU

Politics

Tokyo, Oct. 5 (Jiji Press)--New Japanese Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Minister Takamori Yoshikawa has expressed an eagerness to boost exports of farm products to the European Union on the back of an economic partnership agreement between Japan and the EU.

Japan can be aggressive in trade with the EU under the EPA, which is expected to take effect in the first half of next year at the earliest, Yoshikawa said in an interview, after assuming the post in a cabinet reshuffle on Tuesday.

At present, beef is the only livestock product that Japan can ship to the EU, with exports of such items as pork, eggs and dairy products not allowed.

"We can't export, for example, 'kasutera' cake containing eggs as an ingredient, but it's popular with Europeans," Yoshikawa said, adding, "We've already asked the EU to start accepting such products from Japan upon the effectuation of the EPA."

On Japan-U.S. negotiations on a trade agreement on goods, or TAG, that will likely start at the beginning of next year, Yoshikawa said that the United States should keep its word made at a recent bilateral summit.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press