Japan eyes exemptions in Aust FTA talks
25 February 2008
(Kyodo) Australia is expected to oppose the exemption of the five items from the envisaged FTA with Japan.
Japan has proposed to Australia that rice, wheat, beef, dairy products and sugar be taken off the table in negotiating a bilateral free trade agreement (FTA).
Japanese Vice Farm Minister Toshiro Shirasu says Japan intends to protect sectors that need to be protected.
If the five farm items are freely imported into Japan at cheap prices, they are expected to deal a serious blow to domestic producers.
Australia, a major farm product exporter, is expected to oppose the exemption of the five items from the envisaged FTA with Japan.
Mr Shirasu’s remark came as the fourth round of the bilateral FTA talks got underway in Tokyo earlier today.
The negotiations are to last until Friday.