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Japan, EU Conclude EPA Talks (News)

Tokyo, Dec. 8 (Jiji Press)—Japan and the European Union said Friday that they have concluded talks on an economic partnership agreement, a deal that will create a huge free trade zone encompassing some 30% of global gross domestic product. The two sides agreed to exclude investment protection standards and investment protection dispute resolution, the most challenging issues in the negotiations…
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US Shows Keen Interest in Starting FTA Talks with Japan (News)

Washington, Oct. 16 (Jiji Press)—US Vice President Mike Pence expressed keen interest in starting talks on a bilateral free trade agreement with Japan during the second round of the two countries' economic dialogue here on Monday, according to Japanese government officials. It was the first time for Pence to show such an intention during the dialogue with Japanese Deputy Prime Minister Asō Tarō…
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Japan Likely to Trigger Beef Import Safeguard for First Time in 14 Years (News)

Tokyo, July 26 (Jiji Press)—The Japanese government is poised to impose a safeguard measure to protect domestic cattle farmers against foreign beef for the first time in 14 years, in response to a surge in imports of frozen products from the United States, informed sources said Wednesday. The government is considering invoking the safeguard by raising the tariff rate from 38.5% to 50% on Tuesda…
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Misguided Neomercantilism Threatens Japan-US RelationsTani Sadafumi

After two decades of relative tranquility in Japan-US economic relations, President Donald Trump seems determined to embark on a politically motivated trade crusade. Recalling the “Japan bashing” of the late 1980s and early 1990s, veteran economic journalist Tani Sadafumi questions the efficacy of this hardline bilateral approach and warns of its dangers.
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How Trump Policies Affect the Japanese EconomyItoh Motoshige

Since Donald Trump’s election as US president, expectations of his economic policies have pushed up stock prices, interest rates, and the dollar. Economic expert Itoh Motoshige examines the significance of these policies for Japan.
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When Trumpism Met the East Asian WallTeshima Ryūichi

In his summit with Prime Minister Abe Shinzō, President Donald Trump shifted his East Asian security and diplomatic policy back toward the standard course set by his predecessors. Journalist Teshima Ryūichi takes a look at what Trump’s promises to defend the Senkakus and adhere to the “one China” policy mean for the East Asian diplomatic scene.
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Trump Frustrated with US Trade Deficits with Japan, Others (News)

New York, Jan. 11 (Jiji Press)—US President-elect Donald Trump expressed his discontent with his country's trade deficits with Japan and other countries, during his first press conference since the November 8 presidential election, held in New York on Wednesday. "We have hundreds of billions of dollars of losses on a yearly basis, hundreds of billions with China on trade and trade imbalance, wi…
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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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Tourism Emerges as New Economic Pillar

Japan’s finance ministry announced that visitors to Japan in January–October 2015 outspent their Japanese counterparts overseas by more than ¥900 billion, launching the country’s balance of payments for travel into the black for the first time in decades. Figures were bolstered in part by a weaker yen, which has helped make Japan an appealing destination for tourists.
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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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