(Sankei: December 28, 2015 – Top play)
It was learned on Dec. 27 that the government plans to set up consortia to support farmers involving the Central Union of Agricultural Cooperatives (JA Zenchu), the independent administrative agency Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO), regional banks, and other institutions next spring, in anticipation of the TPP agreement’s prospective effectuation. By launching this unusual support system across ministerial boundaries, the government aims to support exports targeting rich consumers in overseas markets where tariffs will be eliminated.
The government will form these large-scale consortia to support the marketing of agriculture, forestry, and fisheries products by prodding the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI), the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries (MAFF), the Financial Services Agency, and other government offices implementing separate economic policies to collaborate.
JETRO, which is affiliated with METI, has local offices in all the TPP nations, except Brunei, and is knowledgeable about the legal systems and market conditions in each country. It also has rich experience assisting big companies with their overseas ventures. On the other hand, JA, which works with MAFF, has branches nationwide with access to information on high quality agricultural products and connections with farmers.
The regional banks will also join these two major organizations in encouraging farmers to adopt modern business management methods, helping them in the selection and branding of products, choosing the country or territory to launch business operations, and developing comprehensive market strategies through the consortia. Plans to set up export projects in each production area and provide financial assistance are being contemplated. (Slightly abridged)