Japan will eventually have to eliminate the tariffs it imposes on imported farm products despite its intention to keep them as an exception in the Trans-Pacific Partnership free-trade negotiations it plans to join later this month, Malaysia's trade minister has indicated.
International Trade and Industry Minister Mustapa Mohamed said Tuesday in Tokyo: "We need to know how long that (agriculture) sector needs to be protected. I think there's got to be some transitional arrangement" to ease the impact of the trade liberalization.
The central government estimates that Japan's agricultural output will drop by ¥3 trillion from the current total of about ¥7.1 trillion if the tariffs are eliminated under the TPP and no compensation measures are taken.
Mustapa acknowledged Japan's intention to protect rice and other sensitive farm products, saying every TPP country has domestic industries that need to be protected.
As if accommodating Chinese visitors on their usual shopping sprees weren't enough, major Japanese retailers are now actively working to lure this demographic to their storefronts for the Lunar New Year. (Nikkei)
Sharp Corp. and Hon Hai Precison Industry Co. on Friday signed a contract granting the Taiwan electronics giant preferential rights to negotiate over a bailout plan for the struggling Japanese company. (the-japan-news.com)
Japan and Iran signed a bilateral investment pact Friday in a move aimed at helping Japanese firms do business in the resource-rich country amid intensifying foreign competition for its market access. (Kyodo)
Police referred a 16-year-old high school student to prosecutors on Friday on suspicion of using software on other people's computers to obtain the online account details of several hundred people, including records of their online shopping. (Japan Times)
Author Victor Hugo once said, "Virtue has a veil, vice a mask," but what if Japanese, contemporary, and fetish masks are your vice? You'll want to check out Tokyo Mask Festival Vol. 2! (rocketnews24.com)
Wakayama Prefectural Police have arrest of two members of the Takumi-gumi organized crime group for the robbery of a jewelry store in Wakayama City two years ago, reports Wakayama Broadcasting System (Feb. 4). (Tokyo Reporter)