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Notesletter #70
Of Sun and Butter
規制だらけの国
As the TPP (Trans-Pacific Partnership) negotiations progress heralding deregulation, it is worth remembering one U.S. negotiator's reminisce from the U.S.-Japan Structural Impediments Talks of the 1980’s. “It was a circular negotiation. For example, we asked them to deregulate the automotive market. They responded, “what percent of the market do you want”. We said, “even zero percent is ok, as long as it’s a level playing field”. They said “oh, zero percent is ok?”.
According to one Hong Kong think tank, Japan is the #3 most regulated country in the world (India easily captures #1, and China #2).
My company iLand6 recently released a cloud digital signage system, and one of its widgets streams weather forecasts. But, Article 17 of the Meteorological Service Act restricts unauthorized bodies from publishing weather information for “public security reasons" (!?!), so such streaming may be a no-no.
In the last few years, it’s often hard to find butter in grocery stores here. Turns out there is a 10,000 ton/year shortage. The Forestry and Fisheries Ministry tries to blame the lack of dairy farmers, but the real reason is import regulations.
TPP to the rescue? Not really. Japan is insisting that TPP exempt Critical Food categories – rice, wheat, beef, pork, sugar, milk… and butter falls in the milk category.
 
 
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