Problems with unregulated liberalization of the fishery product trade Public Deposited

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  • Japan imported 35.44 million tons of fishery products in 2000, about 5 times more than in 1975, when imports overtook exports. This increase over the past 25 years is due to the following factors. On the demand side: 1) Increased imports of fodder driven by growth in domestic fish culture; 2) Increased imports of middle- to high-end fish and shellfish, such as shrimp and tuna, in response to rising Japanese living standards; On the supply side: 1) Imports of fishery products by major automakers and electric appliance manufacturers to improve Japan's trade balance; 2) Greater investment in fish culture and processing businesses, supported by the provision of technical guidance by Japanese general trading houses. An uninformed debate is now proceeding on the economic theory of "liberalization of trade," justified according to the principle of "comparative advantage." If we accept that "comparative advantage" leads to across-the-board economic improvement, natural justice dictates that those individuals who lose out a result of liberalization should be compensated by its beneficiaries. In other words, if "production specialization" is embraced as a national policy, the losers should not be assumed to be compensated by market forces: they need to be compensated through state-sponsored taxes and subsidies. The continued objections of the fishery industry to "unregulated liberalization of trade", and inescapable effect of globalization leading to bleak growth prospects and a widening gap between rich and poor, should be understood not as the complaints of a vested interest, but as a warning that these global-scale problems need local solutions.
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  • Okamoto, Masaru. 2004. Problems with unregulated liberalization of the fishery product trade. In: Proceedings of the Twelfth Biennial Conference of the International Institute of Fisheries Economics & Trade, July 20-30, 2004, Tokyo, Japan: What are Responsible Fisheries? Compiled by Ann L. Shriver. International Institute of Fisheries Economics & Trade, Corvallis, Oregon, USA, 2004. CD ROM. ISBN 0-9763432-0-7
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