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Japanese farmers explore China, Hong Kong and Taiwan

Japanese agriculture was in the past highly protected by the Japanese government. It is expected that after the Trans-Pacific Strategic Economic Partnership Agreement (TPP) is approved, local Japanese farmers will start to explore the markets of China, Hong Kong and Taiwan.

Japan uses only 5% of their agricultural production for export proposes; the rest is sold on domestic markets. Last year, Japan's aquatic, agriculture and forestry export reached up to a record-breaking amount of 612 billion Yen. The government hopes to breakthrough the critical amount of 1 trillion Yen by 2020. After the TPP is effective, member states will significantly reduce trade restrictions for Japanese agriculture. This is a new opportunity for the world.

The Japanese 42-year old fruit farmer Gugu Zongyi comes from a long line of fruit farmers in Yamanashi prefecture. He explained that Japan's population has stagnated just as the Japanese market has. Ten years ago, the farmer started to export grapes to China, Hong Kong, Taiwan and other places. He believes that the quality of Japanese fruit is sufficient to obtain a place in the global market. China and Hong Kong are Japan's biggest export markets.

Gugu believes that freight fees are the biggest challenge for Japan's agriculture industry, and not tariffs. For example, the transport costs for grapes are more than half of the selling price. Nobuhiro Suzuki, professor at the Department of GlobalAgricultural Science of the University of Tokyo, said that the quality of Japanese fruit is high, but the high prices will weaken its competitiveness abroad.

Source: China News Network

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