• Japan govt issues TPP policy paper


    The government on Wednesday set out how the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) free trade pact could aid businesses in an effort to quell unease among the agriculture industry and small and midsize businesses.

    In a basic policy outline, it said the nation should take advantage of the TPP to recover its status as an exporter and make that a driving force of economic growth.

    The 15-page document also sets out ways to help firms embrace opportunities offered by the TPP. It says small- and medium-sized companies in Japan will have an open door to expansion overseas, while the country’s ailing agricultural industry will have a chance to improve its competitiveness.

    The 12-nation TPP encompasses a potential market of 800 million people, who represent 40 percent of the global economy. Penetrating that market would be a “trump card” for Abenomics, the government says in the document.

    TPP nations will eliminate tariffs on many products and rewrite the rules in areas such as investment, services and government procurement. This will help companies expand operations in TPP partner nations, the paper says.

    “By far, large-scale companies have been the main players in exports, but small- and midsized companies can participate more aggressively from now on,” it says.

    “In addition, not only industrial products, but also agricultural products and food, as well as content and services, will be exported more proactively.”

    It declares that through the TPP, Japan aims to become “a new export superpower.”

    For instance, Japan aims to sell broadcast programming worth ¥20 billion by fiscal 2018, more than triple the level of fiscal 2010. It will push ahead with trying to achieve ¥1 trillion of agricultural exports in 2020, which compares with roughly ¥600 billion exports achieved in the sector last year.

    The policy outline does not give figures for planned state spending, although the government is expected to allocate finances for TPP-related policies in a supplementary budget that will be drafted soon.

    The document says the government will draft more specific policies by next fall.
    It will strengthen support for the small- and midsized firms that are interested in work overseas.

    It will also set up a support network for companies looking to take advantage of the TPP, such as by convening seminars, opening consultation counters and creating bodies to help companies collaborate with each other.

    As for the agricultural industry, the government said it will focus on recruiting more young people to become farmers. It will also reinforce international competitiveness and support farmers who may suffer under the TPP, such as those who grow rice and raise cattle and pigs.



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