Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Monday reiterated his pledge to protect Japan’s agricultural sector after announcing the country’s participation in the Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade negotiations late last week.
While the free trade framework is expected to deal a heavy blow to Japanese farmers through an influx of cheap foreign imports, Abe promised at the Diet’s budget committee meeting on the TPP to protect the country’s farming and food.
“Farming has to be the foundation of a country,” Abe said, noting it has defined traditional Japanese culture.
“Discarding (agriculture) based only on economic profit-and-loss arithmetic could lead Japan to lose its identity,” he said.
Abe indicated the government plans to make use of the knowledge accumulated in the Liberal Democratic Party he heads as Japan takes part in the negotiations involving 11 nations to maximize its own interests.
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