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e-Magazine (For the Japanese version of this article)

Series: Understanding Japan through Key Words (Part 16) TPP-Related Comprehensive Policy Framework [Date of Issue: 29/January/2016 No.0250-0251-0995]

Date of Issue: 29/January/2016

Series: Understanding Japan through Key Words (Part 16)
TPP-Related Comprehensive Policy Framework

On 25 November, the government greeted the agreement in principle reached in the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP) negotiations by adopting the TPP-Related Comprehensive Policy Framework, which includes measures to strengthen agriculture and boost exports of industrial goods and services. If the TPP enters into force, it will create a massive market of 800 million people and a total gross domestic product (GDP) of 3,100 trillion yen, all linked by the same trade and investment rules. The aim of the Comprehensive Policy Framework (CPF) is to internationalize primary industry, small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and medium-ranked companies and take advantage of the economic growth waves currently being experienced by certain TPP members such as the United States, Australia, Malaysia and Vietnam to energize the Japanese economy.

The CPF comprises three main planks: (1) building Japan into a new export giant; (2) positioning Japan as a global hub; and (3) bringing about a new age in agricultural administration.

To build Japan into a new export giant-the first plank-the government has set the target of a 60 percent success rate for SMEs and medium-ranked businesses expanding overseas. In the past, it has been difficult for smaller companies trying to establish a presence in other countries to obtain information on laws and regulations in those countries and respond to them appropriately. If the TPP enters into force, the same rules will apply to customs procedures and intellectual property rights, etc., in all 12 member countries, making it easier for SMEs and medium-ranked companies, which typically have limited human resources, to enter international business.

The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) will spearhead government ministries in providing counselling resources for these smaller businesses to encourage active utilization of the TPP. Consortia will also be formed among the government, municipal authorities, chambers of commerce and industry and other related parties to provide assistance in opening up markets.

To position Japan as a global hub, as noted in the second plank, the government will provide support for company efforts to use the TPP to build sophisticated cross-border value chains and boost their productivity. Specific targets include utilizing advanced IoT and artificial intelligence technologies and promoting innovation and collaboration between companies and industries, as well as attracting 470 foreign companies to Japan by 2018.

In relation to the TPP, the tendency is for attention to be focused on the negative aspects accompanying the reduction and elimination of import duties for agricultural, forestry and fisheries products, but Japan has many agricultural and fisheries products that are extremely popular worldwide, including wagyu beef, fruit and marine products. The third plank-bringing about a new age in agricultural administration-lays out steps for making maximal use of these strengths and transforming agriculture, forestry and fisheries into growth industries.

To bolster primary industry, firstly, the goal of raising the export value of food and agricultural, forestry and fisheries products to one trillion yen in 2020 will be brought forward, with the government and the private sector together channeling resources into developing both new export customers and highly competitive products. A proactive approach will also be taken to fostering the next generation to take charge of these industries and encouraging large-scale agricultural production.

In tandem with these efforts, the government will also take the defensive step of boosting compensation for income loss to support those livestock farmers exposed to competition from cheap imports.

(original article : Japanese)

*This article was written by a specialist journalist.
(For the Japanese version of this article)


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