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Japanese Officials Cautiously Welcome Trump’s TPP Remark (News)

Tokyo, Jan. 26 (Jiji Press)—Japanese cabinet members on Friday welcomed, albeit cautiously, US President Donald Trump's remark hinting that the United States may consider returning to the Trans-Pacific Partnership multilateral free trade agreement. "I welcome his recognition of the significance of the TPP," Economic Revitalization Minister Motegi Toshimitsu, who is in charge of TPP negotiations…
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Japan to Remove Effective Tariff on Wheat for Pasta (News)

Tokyo, Nov. 16 (Jiji Press)—Japan's government and ruling bloc are considering eliminating the country's effective tariff on imported wheat used to make flour for pasta, in preparation for the effectuation of its economic partnership agreement with the European Union, it was learned Thursday. With Japan's tariff on pasta from EU countries set to be removed in the eleventh year after the free tr…
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Japan, EU Reach Broad Accord in Trade Talks (News)

Brussels, July 5 (Jiji Press)—Japan and the European Union reached a broad accord in their four-year-old trade negotiations on Wednesday, set to create a free trade zone that covers 30% of trade around the globe. Japanese Foreign Minister Kishida Fumio and European Commissioner for Trade Cecilia Malmstroem, meeting in Brussels, resolved outstanding issues of the EPA negotiations launched in Apr…
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JA Group: Cultivating the Appeal of FarmingHiga Masahiro

The agricultural environment is undergoing major changes in Japan, as evidenced by the aging of farm households and by economic partnership agreements that lower the tariffs for imported agricultural products. What responses are Japan Agricultural Cooperatives developing to address these challenges for the farming sector?
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Koizumi Jr.’s Quixotic Quest for Agricultural ReformYamashita Kazuhito

Koizumi Shinjirō, director of the LDP agriculture and forestry division, is pushing for agricultural reform to rectify the high price of supplies and other issues confronting the industry. The scion of a former maverick prime minister faces fierce resistance, however, from the country’s powerful farm lobby.
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Timeline for February 2016

North Korea launches a rocket that passes over Okinawa, the Trans-Pacific Partnership is signed in New Zealand, and national census results show Japan’s population fell by almost a million between 2010 and 2015. These are the leading Japan-related stories of February 2016.
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The Geostrategic Significance of the TPP Agreement for the Asia-PacificShiraishi Takashi

On October 5, 2015, at a meeting in Atlanta, the trade ministers from 12 countries—Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, the United States, and Vietnam—reached an “agreement in principle” on the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership. The TPP, in addition to providing for the elimination of tariffs as under a traditional free trade agreement, cover…
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Japan in 2015: The Year’s Top Stories

Security legislation passes amid protests, Prime Minister Abe Shinzō makes a statement to mark the seventieth anniversary of the ending of World War II, and Japanese hostages are killed in Syria. A look back on the biggest Japan-related stories of 2015.
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Timeline for October 2015

Two Japanese scientists win Nobel Prizes, Prime Minister Abe reshuffles his cabinet, and Japan reaches agreement with the other countries involved in the Trans-Pacific Partnership. Look back on the top Japanese news stories of October 2015.
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Why Does Japan Have Butter Shortages?Kikuchi Masanori

“Due to shortages, sales of butter are limited to one item per customer.” From spring until summer this year, signs like this were posted in the dairy sections of supermarkets and food stores around Japan. In fact, butter shortage notices have been a recurring sight for the past several years. This year it was particularly striking to see the number of stores that were completely out of butter a…
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