ABC News, Australia
FTA would have little impact on Japan’s farm sector: Aust
9 April 2005
A free trade agreement (FTA) between Japan and Australia would not deal a serious blow to Japanese agricultural sectors, a senior Australian Government official says.
The senior official, who has briefed Japanese reporters, has presented estimations that Japan’s farm production will decrease only by 1.7 per cent even if tariffs are completely removed in 2005 between the two countries.
The official has urged Japan to start a joint study on concluding an FTA with Australia, saying that a free trade pact would help stabilise Japan’s food supply and bring great benefits to both economies.
Australian Foreign Minister Alexander Downer requested that Japan start examining the feasibility of a bilateral FTA during his meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi late last month.
Japan is scheduled to offer an official response to the request when Australian Prime Minister John Howard visits Japan later this month.