(NHK News Web [Hokkaido]: February 17, 2016 – 18:49)
The Hokkaido Prefectural Government has issued a provisional calculation of the impact of the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade pact on Hokkaido’s agricultural, forestry, and fisheries production, saying that the prefecture’s production value will drop by a maximum of almost 60 billion yen compared with the present.
The tentative calculation estimates the TPP’s impact on the production value of about 30 agricultural, forestry, and fisheries items based on the assumption that production volume is maintained through national government countermeasures.
According to the estimate, the production value of Hokkaido’s agricultural, forestry, and fisheries products will decline by 40.2 billion to 59.8 billion yen as tariffs on imports will be lowered under the TPP and prices are expected to drop.
Of that amount, the production value of agricultural and livestock products will decrease by 33.7 billion to 47.8 billion yen. Milk and dairy products, which are expected to be the most heavily impacted by the TPP, are estimated to decline by 17.9 billion to 25.8 billion yen because new import quotas will be set for butter and powdered skim milk. Beef is estimated to drop by 4.8 billion to 9.7 billion yen as beef from Holsteins, which are raised in large numbers in Hokkaido, will compete with imports. In addition, sugar and wheat are expected to decrease by 4.3 billion and 4.2 billion yen, respectively.
The TPP is not expected to impact rice in production value.
The production value of fisheries products is expected to decrease by 5.3 billion to 10.8 billion yen. Of that amount, scallops are expected to decline by 2.5 billion yen to 4.9 billion yen, and salmon and trout between 2.3 billion to 4.6 billion yen.
At a meeting of Hokkaido Prefectural Government’s high-ranking officials held on Feb. 17, Governor Harumi Takahashi said, “We are concerned not just about the economic impact but also the decline in growers’ desire to produce. We must also think about countermeasures that Hokkaido can take on its own. We will address this issue.”
Hokkaido will strengthen its agricultural competitiveness by promoting the creation of large-scale dairy farms and focusing on beef exports going forward.