Fruit Policies in Japan

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Government programs and subsidies regulate and support Japan’s large fruit-production sector, bolstering farm incomes and output levels. Supply-management programs that target annual production levels for some fruits, in order to maintain market prices, contribute to higher prices for consumers, although other programs aim to increase fruit consumption. Japan’s tariffs and phytosanitary measures also create barriers to fruit consumption and limit imports. Producers in the United States, a major fruit supplier to Japan, could benefi t from reduced barriers.
Japan is a large market for fruits and its consumers spend $10 billion per year (wholesale value) on fresh and preserved fruits.1 The United States, the second-largest foreign supplier of fruits to Japan, sent about $450 million in fruit exports to Japan in 2009—10 percent of total U.S. fruit exports (table 1).2 Japanese Government policies regarding this large market affect U.S. fruit exports and offer a point of comparison for other developed countries, including the United States. This report is one in a series examining Japan’s policies that protect and regulate its agricultural markets. Japan’s policies affect existing trade patterns and are relevant to the current round of global trade negotiations conducted by the World Trade Organization (WTO).

Kenzo Ito
John Dyck
USDA Economic Research Service