(Nikkei: February 24, 2016 – p. 4)
The Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) divisions concerned with agriculture and forestry issues held a meeting on Feb. 23 and approved the submission of four TPP-related bills, including a bill on loss compensation for farmers and one on geographical indications (GI), to the current Diet session. These bills will be approved by the cabinet on Mar. 8 and will be deliberated in one package with bills on copyright protection and anti-monopoly measures in early April.
The bill on loss compensation will increase the ratio of compensation to farmers when income is lower than production cost from 80% to 90%. Agricultural products with registered GI overseas will be protected if so requested by national governments and other governments will also be asked to provide similar legal protection.
In addition, an “adjustment charge” will be imposed on imported cocoa powder and other sweetened products used for making confectionery. This fund will be used to mitigate the impact of tariff reduction and for subsidy to local producers.
The functions of the Agriculture and Livestock Industries Corporation, which is in charge of loss compensation to livestock farmers, will also be changed.