Saturday August 20, 2005
No FTA with Australia: Japanese minister
Japan’s Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Minister Mineichi Iwanaga says Japan has no intention of concluding a free-trade agreement with Australia.
The Tokyo government needs to protect Japan’s agriculture, Iwanaga said during a meeting with his Australian counterpart Peter McGauran.
Japan and Australia agreed at their summit meeting in April to conduct studies over the following two years in order to determine whether they should conclude an FTA.
Australia is a major exporter of beef, wheat and dairy products on which Japan imposes high tariffs to protect its domestic farmers.
McGauran said the two governments have yet to draw a conclusion on the question of a bilateral free-trade accord.
Iwanaga and McGauran met on Queensland’s Gold Coast on the sidelines of a multilateral meeting of farm ministers from Australia, Japan, Canada, the United States and the European Union.