Category Archives: Japan

Will US Browbeating of Japan Revive the Zombified TransPacific Partnership?

As readers may recall, we declared the toxic, national-sovereignty-gutting, misnamed “trade” deal called the TransPacific Partnership to be dead based on America’s colossal mishandling of Japan (not that it has handled the other prospective signatories any better, mind you). The pact was designed to be an “everybody but China” grouping, a centerpiece of Obama’s pivot to Asia. Japan’s participation is essential to meeting that objective, as well as to another critical objective: that of getting major nations to sign up to agreements that subordinated national regulations to the profit-making rights of foreign investors, who could sue governments over any incursions in secretive, conflicted arbitration panels.

Nevertheless, meetings on the TransPacific Partnership continue, with the latest round in Sydney last week. The US press is depicting the Japanese as bad guys who can be browbeaten into giving up protecting their beef and rice farmers, among others. Is that likely to happen?

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Japanese Prime Minister Abe Vows to Conclude TransPacific Partnership by Year End. Should We Worry?

Last week, I came across an article in Japan Times which gave the impression that the TransPacific Partnership was being revived from the dead. From the article:

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has a “strong intention” to conclude the Trans-Pacific Partnership talks by the end of the year, TPP minister Akira Amari said Friday as the U.S. pork lobby pressured Japan to make concessions, but added that the free trade deal cannot be struck without a commitment from all sides.

But is this a real commitment, or mere Japanese conflict-avoidance?

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Is Japan Playing Ball with the US on the TransPacific Partnership?

Earlier this week, the Nikkei Asian Review published At odds with US, Japan reaches out to other TPP partners. The title would lead you to believe Japan is working with other countries to strengthen opposition to the toxic, mislabeled trade deal known as the TransPacific Partnership.

The text of the article suggests otherwise, that Japan’s prime minister Abe will feel compelled to offer some concessions when Obama visits next month. On the surface, that would represent a significant shift.

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Your Humble Blogger Discusses the Pending Trade Deals and JP Morgan on Le Show!

I really enjoy speaking with Harry Shearer, both for his engaging manner and his thorough preparation. I also hope you’ll see fit to circulate this interview, since the more attention we can bring to this plan to legalize corporate pillage, the better.

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Will China’s Gambit to Undermine the Trans-Pacific Partnership Succeed?

While eyes in the US have remained focused on the budget cliffhanger in Washington, in Bali, two sets of meetings were taking place. The first was the latest set of Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations. The US, led by John Kerry (Obama was supposed to make an appearance but the budget drama kept him away) met with representatives of the 12 nations it is pressing to agree to this deliberately mis-branded “trade deal”. The reason the label is misleading is that trade is already substantially liberalized; the real point of the TPP and its cousin, the pending EU-US trade agreement, is to weaken the power of nations to regulate, which will allow multinationals to lead a race to the bottom on product and environmental safety.

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Wolf Richter: “Who Could Trust Such A Company?” – The Big Fat Lies About Radiation Exposure Of Workers At Fukushima

Yves here. This post is yet another reminder of how most companies’ first line of defense when they have engaged in seriously bad conduct is to lie, no matter how flagrant the lie is. Recall during British Petroleum’s Deepwater Horizon crisis when the oil producer repeatedly and grossly misrepresented the flow rate from its out-of-control well.

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Nikkei Disses Third Dose of Abenomics, Falls Nearly 4%

The financial media and investors were waiting tonight for Prime Minister Abe’s latest announcement on the extreme economic sport known as Abenomics. But his new installment dashed hopes, and after a short-lived rally, the Nikkei is down over 3%. But after the wild ride since May 22, when the Japanese index plunged 7.3%, a 3% decline is coming to look almost like normal daily volatility. (Well, now that it’s down nearly 4%, it might be a beast of a different color).

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