Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's decision to participate in talks to join the Trans-Pacific Partnership could help Japanese farmers become more competitive by hastening reform of agricultural policy, according to The Economist. "Abe's team is currently studying options for agricultural reform, to be announced later in the year," the magazine notes. "Trying to negotiate TPP entry and introduce wider farming reforms at the same time will be politically hard. Yet lowering tariffs without taking steps to boost competitiveness might prove disastrous."

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