Thursday, November 13, 2014

TPP, Agriculture, and Elections

For those of you who think that the need to drum up the agricultural vote for the upcoming Lower House election will complicate things for Abenomics with regard to TPP, I have a questionnaire:

1) How many rice farmers are there in the United States?
2) How many dairy farmers and stockbreeders are there in Japan?
3) What would happen to Japan’s dairy and meat imports if there is no TPP deal with Japan? (Hint: The Japan-Australia FTA is likely to go into force by the end of the year.)
4) What are the alternatives for dairy farmers and stockbreeders in the upcoming election?

There’s talk emanating from the LDP that it can lose 30 seats in the next election and still have a simple majority on its own. I think that’s called setting the bar low, in order to claim anything as victory and mandate. Dairy farmers and stockbreeders, with the most to lose, will be the last among the agricultural interests to bet on a losing horse.

Go figure.

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