The Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF) of Japan on Aug. 3 held explanatory meetings for livestock farmers in the cities of Miyazaki and Kagoshima in southern Japan following the broad accord on an economic partnership agreement (EPA) reached between Japan and the EU last month. The participants called for the government to ease regulations in parallel with tariff reduction and to expand measures for strengthening the livestock and dairy industries that lead to efficient management and quality improvement.
MAFF officials, including Livestock Production Promotion Division head Keiji Fushimi, explained the details of the EPA and the government’s basic policies regarding imports of cheese and other dairy products, beef, and pork, for which a low-tariff import quota will be established. At the meeting in Miyazaki, a 43-year-old pig farmer said, “I’m feeling alarmed because a lot of pork is imported from Europe. I want the government to consider measures with us in order (for Japanese producers) to steadily continue production.”
Meanwhile, a dairy farmer who attended the Kagoshima meeting said, “I want the government to increase funding for strengthening the structure of the dairy products industry.” A MAFF official said that the ministry will draw up measures by this autumn based on these opinions.
MAFF has already held such meetings across Hokkaido and in Saitama City. It will hold another meeting in Kumamoto City on Aug. 4.
Japan and the EU reached a broad agreement on an EPA in July. It is expected to take effect sometime around the first half of 2019 after a final agreement is reached between Tokyo and Brussels.