Japan and US on 28 January 2015 to finalize the treaty to increase the tariff free rice import quota from US to make progress on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) which has been halted due to deadlock between US and Japan over access to its farm market including rice.
The Chief of Central Union of Agricultural Cooperative JA-Zenchu, Japan has urged the US government in TPP talks to retain the high tariff import on products like rice, wheat, barley, pork,sugar and dairy products according to Bureau of National Affairs
The Union of Agricultural Cooperative includes major farm lobbies and Norinchukin Bank which is the biggest private sector financial institute in the country, is said to have major impact on the Japanese Politics.
A government official told the sources that both the countries are setting up meeting to discuss over the topics that are barring the conclusion of TPP talks. However he didn’t say anything on the time and dates of meeting.
From the beginning of the TPP talks Japan has been trying not to included rice in the talks as excluding rice will protect local rice prices and will increase demand of locally produced rice in the country. But US government is urging Japan to include rice in the TPP talks as including rice in TPP talk would increase the demand and prices of US rice in Japanese market.
However, the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) has been halted due to deadlock between US and Japan over access to its farm market including rice. Japan government wants to exclude rice in TPP talks whereas the US government wants it to include as it will increase the US rice value in Japanese market.
In 2014 April, US agreed to exclude Japanese rice in TPP talks but had sought increased tariff-free rice imports from the US. Accordingly, The East Asian Nation agreed to increase tariff –free rice import quota from the US in order to take forward the TPP discussions.