While past governments of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party have relied on the JA for support, rewarding the farmers with subsidies and handouts, Abe has put himself in conflict with the group over his decision to join talks for the 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership, a free-trade group that would jeopardize Japanese import tariffs of as much as 778 percent.
In the year since Abe’s party returned to power, the yen has weakened about 19 percent against the dollar as the government pushes policies to end two decades of deflationary malaise. The currency was 0.1 percent weaker at 103.53 per dollar at 9:39 a.m. in Tokyo, and the Topix index of stocks was down for a third day.
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