As one of the most densely populated nations on Earth, Japan has long feared for the future of its food supply. Currently, the island nation has to import 60% of its food from other nations, a ratio which has been maintained for years with strict tariffs that prevent the nation from losing the rest of its domestic food supply. But now, many are concerned that the looming Trans-Pacific Partnership treaty could threaten these farmers, and may very well be unconstitutional under Japanese law.
Over 1000 citizens filed a lawsuit in the Tokyo District Court on Friday, on the grounds that the free trade agreement would violate their basic human rights. The lawsuit is being led by former agriculture minister Masahiko Yamada, and cites a very specific article of Japan’s constitution. “The TPP could violate the Japanese right to get stable food supply, or the right to live, guaranteed by Article 25 of the nation’s Constitution.”
By all accounts, the trade agreement will mostly benefit global corporations, and the plaintiffs claim that if it passes, it would likely destroy their domestic farming industry. In addition to food supply fears, the plaintiffs suggested that the TPP would also hurt food safety, and could increase the cost of medicine, further infringing upon their “right to life.” Japan would be the second largest economy in the TPP, and if they fail to sign onto it, it could derail the treaty before it gets off the ground.
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Contributed by Joshua Krause of The Daily Sheeple.
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