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Sat May 30, 2015, 03:59 PM

"A lopsided treaty from which a mere 1% will benefit"

The other night, I had the opportunity to attend a TPP event in Tokyo. The event featured speeches by more than a dozen prominent Japanese, as well as live music, skits, and an organic food market. Unfortunately, I was not able to see any of the skits (which included one called “Monsantopolis”), and I was only able to catch about half of the speeches. But it was still an interesting and enlightening event.

When I arrived, the live band was performing.



The first thing I did was go to the organic food booths. There were a lot of people from Hokkaido at the booths. Hokkaido is Japan’s northernmost main island, and it is also one of the major agricultural regions of the country. Hokkaido farmers produce an amazing amount of rice, potatoes, soybeans, wheat, sugar beets, and meat and dairy products, among other foods. The Hokkaido farmers I met are lovely people, and they are proud of the efforts they make to produce some of the world’s most wholesome foods. But, as I have noted here before, and as they reminded me the other night, that fantastic productivity, and the livelihoods of not only them but tens of thousands of their fellow farmers and food workers, could be jeopardized by the TPP.



Here are some of the foods I got at the event— organic soybeans, organic cheese, and a “No TPP!” cookie.

Anyway, when the live band finished playing, speakers took the stage to give brief speeches about TPP. Among the speakers were the head of a national medical association, the head of an agricultural association, a representative of an NPO, and a couple of politicians-- one is the Japanese version of Al Franken, while the other is a former cabinet minister and is now a lawyer.

What was amazing to me was that the speakers touched upon nearly all of the TPP issues that have been discussed here on DU, and essentially described it as a giveaway to multinational corporations and the ultra wealthy. One of them even wrote a book whose cover describes the TPP as a “lopsided treaty from which a mere 1% will benefit”.

I will talk more about that in later posts.


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Arrow 34 replies Author Time Post
Reply "A lopsided treaty from which a mere 1% will benefit" (Original post)
Art_from_Ark May 2015 OP
orpupilofnature57 May 2015 #1
Art_from_Ark May 2015 #26
madfloridian May 2015 #2
Hoyt May 2015 #3
Art_from_Ark May 2015 #4
awoke_in_2003 May 2015 #18
Agony Jun 2015 #29
madfloridian May 2015 #5
Art_from_Ark May 2015 #21
fasttense May 2015 #9
paleotn May 2015 #11
Jesus Malverde May 2015 #15
polly7 May 2015 #6
madfloridian May 2015 #7
JDPriestly May 2015 #8
CharlotteVale May 2015 #10
paleotn May 2015 #12
Jesus Malverde May 2015 #13
Carewfan May 2015 #14
cali May 2015 #16
daleanime May 2015 #17
Bonobo May 2015 #19
Art_from_Ark May 2015 #22
Duppers May 2015 #20
Ichingcarpenter May 2015 #23
Art_from_Ark May 2015 #24
Art_from_Ark May 2015 #25
Art_from_Ark Jun 2015 #27
madfloridian Jun 2015 #28
Art_from_Ark Jun 2015 #30
Art_from_Ark Jun 2015 #31
madfloridian Jun 2015 #32
Art_from_Ark Jun 2015 #33
madfloridian Jun 2015 #34

Response to Art_from_Ark (Original post)

Sat May 30, 2015, 04:04 PM

1. A vote for the TPP is a vote against 99% of the world !!!

 

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Response to orpupilofnature57 (Reply #1)

Sun May 31, 2015, 04:52 PM

26. I heartily agree

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Response to Art_from_Ark (Original post)

Sat May 30, 2015, 04:05 PM

2. Excellent post with a view of TPP from Japan.

This part impressed me:

Anyway, when the live band finished playing, speakers took the stage to give brief speeches about TPP. Among the speakers were the head of a national medical association, the head of an agricultural association, a representative of an NPO, and a couple of politicians-- one is the Japanese version of Al Franken, while the other is a former cabinet minister and is now a lawyer.

What was amazing to me was that the speakers touched upon nearly all of the TPP issues that have been discussed here on DU, and essentially described it as a giveaway to multinational corporations and the ultra wealthy. One of them even wrote a book whose cover describes the TPP as a “lopsided treaty from which a mere 1% will benefit”.


Thanks for this.

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Response to Art_from_Ark (Original post)

Sat May 30, 2015, 04:11 PM

3. Kind of small crowd. Guess most Japanese understand trade has

 

have been good for them since the 1950s. Thanks to transistor radios, small sensible cars, etc., it's been good for us too.

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Response to Hoyt (Reply #3)

Sat May 30, 2015, 04:16 PM

4. That's not the entire crowd, FFS

And, I arrived at a time when a lot of people were still working.

Also, because the live band was playing, people were milling around.

Furthermore, I had to get in a place where no one's faces would get in the shot. I make it a point to try to never post a picture on the Internet with a recognizable face, if I don't have permission from that person to do so.

Bzzzzzt!

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Response to Art_from_Ark (Reply #4)

Sat May 30, 2015, 06:59 PM

18. Hey Art, don't waste your time

 

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Response to Art_from_Ark (Reply #4)

Mon Jun 1, 2015, 05:48 PM

29. Kick

plus…
"I make it a point to try to never post a picture on the Internet with a recognizable face, if I don't have permission from that person to do so. "

I like your attitude.

Thank You

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Response to Hoyt (Reply #3)

Sat May 30, 2015, 04:52 PM

5. No, not so small at all. Here's one pic, many many more on a search.



Look it up.

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Response to madfloridian (Reply #5)

Sun May 31, 2015, 02:32 AM

21. Those guys are from Akita Prefecture,

Last edited Sun May 31, 2015, 03:40 AM - Edit history (1)

another farming area that could be hard-hit by TPP.

The signs on their chests say "Steadfastly block TPP!" Their banner reads, "Steadfastly oppose participation in TPP negotiations-- JA Group, Akita"

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Response to Hoyt (Reply #3)

Sat May 30, 2015, 05:35 PM

9. You do realize the Japanese government subsidized their transistor industry

 

And their car industries in order to be competitive? These corporations did Not evolve under free trade regulations. They evolved in a totally controlled trade environment.

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Response to Hoyt (Reply #3)

Sat May 30, 2015, 05:50 PM

11. Japan is well known for its implicit trade barriers.....

.....what they've done since the 50s is what we should have done as well and what Germany did and still does. They didn't sell out their industrial base so that a tiny few could make fortunes off of cheap foreign labor. They have a national industrial policy that's based on what's in the long term best interests of their nation and populace, not what's best for multi-national corporations who have no allegiance except for their bottom lines.

Now the Japanese don't want to be force fed cheap, pesticide / herbicide laced food from big US agra. Can't say as I blame them. Their food system is decentralized and of the highest quality, like ours was once upon a time.

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Response to Hoyt (Reply #3)

Sat May 30, 2015, 05:59 PM

15. Something they've managed without giving up their sovereignty to corporations..nt

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Response to Art_from_Ark (Original post)

Sat May 30, 2015, 04:55 PM

6. Kick and recommend. nt.

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Response to Art_from_Ark (Original post)

Sat May 30, 2015, 05:23 PM

7. Kick for a post about TPP protests from Japan a personal view.

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Response to Art_from_Ark (Original post)

Sat May 30, 2015, 05:26 PM

8. K&R. No TPP!!

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Response to Art_from_Ark (Original post)

Sat May 30, 2015, 05:36 PM

10. K&R

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Response to Art_from_Ark (Original post)

Sat May 30, 2015, 05:52 PM

12. K&R

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Response to Art_from_Ark (Original post)

Sat May 30, 2015, 05:57 PM

13. Bump...nt

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Response to Art_from_Ark (Original post)

Sat May 30, 2015, 05:58 PM

14. K&R

 

Thanks for providing the insight from the other side of the globe

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Response to Art_from_Ark (Original post)

Sat May 30, 2015, 06:01 PM

16. thank you for this great post

 

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Response to Art_from_Ark (Original post)

Sat May 30, 2015, 06:45 PM

17. K&R.....

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Response to Art_from_Ark (Original post)

Sat May 30, 2015, 07:06 PM

19. Recced.

Anything that is opposed by the kind of small farmers who put so much care and love and attention into their farm products can NOT be good.

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Response to Bonobo (Reply #19)

Sun May 31, 2015, 03:17 AM

22. The author of the book "TPP: 5 Fun de Wakaru",

who was a former minister of agriculture, talks about how farmers in Hiroshima had been growing lemons and selling them for 50 yen each before the lemon market was liberalized. After market liberalization, a well-known American citrus company came in and started undercutting local growers by selling lemons for 10 yen each. Of course, most of the local growers couldn't compete with that, and they had to give up their lemon production. After that, the price of lemons went up as high as 100 yen each. The price sometimes comes down a little bit, and I have seen some Hiroshima lemon products around, but lemons are still close to 100 yen each in my area.

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Response to Art_from_Ark (Original post)

Sat May 30, 2015, 08:16 PM

20. K & R

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Response to Art_from_Ark (Original post)

Sun May 31, 2015, 03:23 AM

23. . K&R

great post thanks

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Response to Ichingcarpenter (Reply #23)

Sun May 31, 2015, 06:17 AM

24. Thank you

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Response to Art_from_Ark (Original post)

Sun May 31, 2015, 09:18 AM

25. Of course, there is more to this than just farm products

Last edited Sun May 31, 2015, 10:09 AM - Edit history (1)

While farmers are on the front lines and will show the most obvious signs of damage in the beginning, there are other aspects of this "trade" deal that will affect people in a negative way.

For example, the head of the medical association related this experience: He had been working as a researcher at an American research institute when he suddenly became ill and had to call an ambulance. The ambulance wasted two hours of precious time trying first to find out what his institute's insurance covered, and then trying to find a hospital that would accept that insurance. Then, to add insult to injury, the hospital told him he had to be out of there within 3 days, regardless! "If this had been in Japan," he said, "the only problem would have been finding the closest hospital that had space and emergency staff available. Is this (American-style system) the kind of health care system we want in Japan?"

Of course, the audience answered, "No!"

"And yet," he continued, "under the TPP this may be the kind of 'health care' system we can expect in Japan."

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Response to Art_from_Ark (Original post)

Mon Jun 1, 2015, 03:02 PM

27. Here's a YouTube video of a "No TPP" demonstration

that was associated with the event. The singer is really cute.

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Response to Art_from_Ark (Reply #27)

Mon Jun 1, 2015, 04:51 PM

28. Aww that's a cute singer. Don't know the words, but a well-organized group.

Thanks for sharing.

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Response to madfloridian (Reply #28)

Mon Jun 1, 2015, 06:17 PM

30. When I have some time, I'll transcribe some of it for you

if I can't find the words to it on the Internet.

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Response to madfloridian (Reply #28)

Wed Jun 3, 2015, 09:38 AM

31. Here's an English video and translation of the song

In Japanese it's called "Minna de Stop TPP"



Everybody let's stop the TPP!
Everybody let's stop the TPP!
Until we know how bad this agreement will be
We better try to stop the TPP

Genetically modified food, grown in a laboratory
Do you feel like swallowing the TPP?
Let us label our food how we want, that's the way it should be
You keep your Frankenfood and TPP

Everybody let's stop the TPP!
Everybody let's stop the TPP!
If you want to keep your lunchbox GMO free
Then you'll have to stop the TPP

They say that it will bring new jobs, but where are those jobs gonna be?
No way of knowing from the TPP
We all want our country to grow, so long as it's sustainably
We might not get that from the TPP

Everybody let's stop the TPP!
Everybody let's stop the TPP!
Let's not gamble with our jobs and the economy
We're better off without the TPP

In an overseas private court, a multinational company
Can sue for billions through the TPP
Attacking our national laws, is not something that we want to see
So let's get that out of the TPP

Everybody let's stop the TPP!
Everybody let's stop the TPP!
Don't wanna sacrifice our national sovereignty
That's what will happen in the TPP

We all love sharing online, music or clips from TV
But that was all before the TPP
Mashing up a parody song, ripping from a DVD
All that will stop under the TPP

Everybody let's stop the TPP!
Everybody let's stop the TPP!
If we really want to keep our Internet free
We're gonna have to stop the TPP

Medicine that we can afford, is something that we all need
But the cost will climb under the TPP
You better start stocking up, and hope you won't need surgery
Or you'll go bankrupt come the TPP

Everybody let's stop the TPP!
Everybody let's stop the TPP!
If it comes between affordable health care and me
I'm never gonna take the TPP

Everybody let's stop the TPP!
Everybody let's stop the TPP!
Until we know how bad this agreement will be
We better try to stop the TPP

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Response to Art_from_Ark (Reply #31)

Wed Jun 3, 2015, 12:44 PM

32. "Until we know how bad this agreement will be"

Sounds like our argument against it.

Thanks so much for the translation.

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Response to madfloridian (Reply #28)

Wed Jun 3, 2015, 02:20 PM

33. And did you notice the cops in the video?

No riot gear, no guns, no us-against-them barricades

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Response to Art_from_Ark (Reply #33)

Wed Jun 3, 2015, 02:27 PM

34. I noticed. And very few of them at all. Like in the background.

Such a contrast to here.

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