Agricultural Trade Policy and Sustainable Development

Experience from Japan and Other Countries
Organised by
2 November 2015
Tokyo, Japan

This event seeks to bring together a wide range of stakeholders to discuss how Japan's agricultural trade policy may relate to other relevant global public policy objectives, such as food security, rural development and environmental sustainability, as well as to regulatory frameworks at the international and regional level such WTO rules and the TPP. The dialogue will bring together senior government officials from different ministries, as well as different domestic constituencies to discuss how national agricultural trade policies may affect the achievement of these goals at the national level, as well as - through trade - in other countries. The WTO's upcoming Nairobi ministerial and the recent conclusion of the TPP talks mean that this dialogue will be a timely opportunity to revisit some of the broader implications of policies affecting trade in the agricultural sector.

2 November 2015

08:45 - 09:00
09:00 – 09:30
Introductory remarks
Andrew Crosby (ICTSD), Kazumasa Iwata (JCER)


Andrew CROSBY, Managing Director, ICTSD


Japan's agricultural trade policy: opportunities and challenges in an evolving market environment

Kazuhito YAMASHITA, Research Director, Canon Institute for Global Studies



Sumio SARUYAMA, Lead Economist, Japan Center for Economic Research (JCER)

Masashi SATO, President, Niigata Yuuki


Open discussion

11:00 – 11:15


Shotaro OSHIMA, Former Chairman of the General Council of WTO


The implications of ‘mega-regionals’ for agricultural trade

Remy JURENAS, independent expert; formerly Specialist, US Congressional Research Service


The implications of ‘mega-regionals’ for rural development in the East Asian region

Masayoshi HONMA, Professor, University of Tokyo



Ambr. Hidenori MURAKAMI, President, Japan Food Industry Association

Tetsuhide MIKAMO, Corporate Officer, Marubeni


Open discussion

13:15 – 14:00


Amb. Mark SINCLAIR, New Zealand Ambassador to Japan, former chief negotiator for New Zealand in TPP negotiations


Agricultural trade policies and rules today: towards markets that promote global food security?

Eugenio DIAZ-BONILLA, Visiting Senior Research Fellow, IFPRI



Professor Kazunuki OIZUMI, Emeritus Professor at Miyagi University (TBC)


Open discussion



Kazuhiro TAKAHASHI, Director, Food Commerce and Marketing Division, Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries


Agricultural trade and environmental sustainability: anticipating the challenge of climate change

Prof. Alan SWINBANK, Emeritus Professor of Agricultural Economics, University of Reading



Prof. Mikitaro SHOUBAYASHI, Professor, Intercultural Communications, Gakushuin Women’s College

Junko ITOH, former director, Consumer Co-operative Kobe


Open discussion

Andrew CROSBY, Managing Director for Operations and Strategy, ICTSD

Kazumasa IWATA, President, JCER

Andrew Crosby is part of ICTSD’s Senior Management team with responsibility for ICTSD’s publishing and communications. He leads ICTSD’s substantive work on the new economy (digital, services, innovation) and contributes to work on global governance, G20 and emerging economies (and previously on agriculture and food security). Mr. Crosby was ICTSD’s first programmes director from 1997 to 2002, a period that led to the establishment of ICTSD as a globally recognised leader on trade and sustainable development. He re-joined ICTSD in 2009. With a background in strategic communications, electoral politics, and organisational management, Mr. Crosby brings a passion for developing and translating policy discourse into action. He was a founder of the American Political Network in 1988 which produced, The Hotline, the first national daily journal on US politics. He earned a Master in Public Administration from John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University in 1996, and a BA in Political Science from New York University in 1985. He is citizen of the United States of America and currently resides in Switzerland.


Mr. Kazumasa Iwata is the President of Japan Center for Economic Research (JCER). After graduating from the University of Tokyo in 1970, Mr. Mr. Iwata worked for the Economic Planning Agency of the Japanese Government. Later, he served as Administrator at the Monetary and Fiscal Policy Division, Department of Economics and Statistics, OECD in Paris. Between 1985 and 2001, he held various positions at leading academic institutions, including the University of Tokyo and Yale University. In 2001, he was appointed as Director General in charge of economic assessment and policy analysis at the Cabinet Office. In 2003, he was named Deputy Governor of the Bank of Japan for five years. He also became the Emeritus professor at the University of Tokyo in 2007. Further he was appointed as the President of the Economic and Social Research Institute, Cabinet Office, and later, Member of the Council of Economic and Fiscal Policy. He took his current role with JCER in October 2010. Mr. Iwata earned his Ph.D. in economics from University of Tokyo, Japan. 

Kazuhito Yamashita graduated from the Faculty of Law at the University of Tokyo, before earning masters degrees in public administration and applied economics from the University of Michigan, and a doctorate in agriculture from the University of Tokyo.

He has held a number of senior positions in government, including serving as Director of the GATT Affairs Division, Director of the Rural Development Division, Deputy Director-General of the Rural Development Bureau in the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, and as Counsellor in the Japanese Mission to the European Union.

He is currently a Senior Fellow at the Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI).

Mr. Sumio Saruyama is the Lead Economist of Japan Center for Economic Research (JCER). Mr. Saruyama worked for Nikkei (Nihon Keizai Shimbun),  where he specialized in macro econometric forecasting. He joined JCER at 2005 and has been involved in policy research aimed at enhancing Japan’s economic growth. His recent contribution includes ‘Global long-term forecast to 2050’, ‘Proposal to establish national population target’, ‘Reform recommendation of rice market by abolishing tariffs’, among many others. . Mr. Saruyama graduated from the department of Liberal Arts, the University of Tokyo, Japan. 

Mr. Masashi Sato is Representative Director at Niigata Yuuki, an agricultural production corporation located in Niigata Prefecture. Mr. Sato worked at Honda Motor in 1970s after which he succeeded in a family business and gradually enlarged its scale. He was incorporated in Niigata Yuuki in 2006.  Mr. Sato is former chairperson at a reform-minded rice producers association and currently serves as a member of advisory board for listing rice at commodities exchange. 

Ambassador Shotaro Oshima is Chairman at the Institute for International Economic Studies (IIES) and teaching politics of world trade at Graduate School of Public Policy, University of Tokyo as Visiting Professor. His 40 years’ experience as a diplomat in Japan's Foreign Service includes Member of the Appellate Body at WTO (2008-2012), Ambassador to the Republic of Korea (2005-2007), Ambassador to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (2000-2001) and Director-General for Economic Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs (1997-2000).

Remy Jurenas just retired as a specialist in agricultural policy with Congressional Research Service, Library of Congress, in Washington, DC. CRS is the public policy research arm of the U.S. Congress, and works exclusively and directly for Members of Congress, their Committees and staff on a confidential, nonpartisan basis. While there, he monitored a range of agricultural issues as viewed from the Congressional perspective and analysed legislative proposals that sought to address them in various ways. His portfolio included U.S. sugar policy, agricultural food aid and export programs, sanctions reform, agricultural trade disputes, and agricultural provisions negotiated in U.S. free trade agreements over the last 10 years and related controversies.  Mr. Jurenas graduated from the University of Maine in 1973, and received an M.A. in international relations from the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, Washington, DC, in 1980.

Masayoshi Honma is Professor of Agricultural and Resource Economics at the Graduate School of Agricultural and Life Sciences, the University of Tokyo. His previous appointments include Professor of Economics at Seikei University, Tokyo, and Professor at Otaru University of Commerce, Hokkaido. His areas of expertise are agricultural and development economics, gaining his PhD in economics at Iowa State University, USA, in 1982. He also worked as a professional staff at Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations, Rome, in 1995 and as a research fellow (1989-91) and a member of the Board of Trustees (2004-11) at International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), Washington, DC. He received the Policy Research Tobata Memorial Award of the National Institute for Research Advancement, 1995. He was President of the Agricultural Economics Society of Japan for 2010-12.

Mr. Hidenori Murakami is President at the Japan Food Industry Association (JFIA). With its extensive membership in food and related industries, JFIA is focusing on solving common industry challenges. Mr. Murakami is the former Vice Minister of Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries for International Affairs. He started his carrier at MAFF in 1974 and was involved in various bilateral and multilateral trade negotiations. He was also actively involved in many important policy decisions on domestic agriculture and food policies of Japan, including policies on rice, wheat and agro-food industry as Director-General of Food Policy Bureau of MAFF. He served as Ambassador to Chile from 2011 to 2014.

Mr. Tetsuhide Mikamo is currently Corporate Officer at Marubeni. He had assumed the position of Director of Research Institute at Marubeni in 2010. Prior to that, he was General Manager of the Washington D.C. Office of Marubeni America Corporation from 2003 to 2008. Mr. Mikamo is a career economist and served as a member of the Food Security Committee sponsored by Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan. He also teaches “Sogo-Shosha’s Business Activities” at Aoyama Gakuin University and Kobe University as a lecturer. From 1989-1991 he was a visiting scholar at the Japan Center for Economic Research (JCER). Mr. Mikamo received his B.A. from Hitotsubashi, Japan.

Mark Sinclair graduated as Master of Arts from the University of Auckland in 1977 before joining the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. In his early years in the department he was a Japan specialist: he spent two years from 1978 studying at the Foreign Service Institute in Yokohama, followed by assignments in the New Zealand embassy in Tokyo and the Asia Division in Wellington. 

After serving as Executive Assistant to the Secretary of Foreign Affairs he was posted to Honiara as Deputy High Commissioner. From 1986 to 1989 he was seconded to the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet as foreign policy adviser in the Prime Minister's Advisory Group, focusing mainly on regional affairs, defence and security. He continued to specialise in security and political affairs during a posting to Canberra and in the Australia Division of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

From 1995 to 2000 he worked on organisational development and human resources policy, first in the Personnel Division and then as Director of the Chief Executive's Office.

Since 2001 he has focused on trade and economic affairs, first as Deputy Permanent Representative in the New Zealand Mission to the WTO in Geneva, then as Director of the Trade Negotiations Division and senior New Zealand official for the WTO Doha process. From late 2008 to the end of 2011 he was New Zealand's lead negotiator for the Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiation.

He took up his position as Ambassador to Japan in July 2012.

Dr. Eugenio Diaz-Bonilla joined IFPRI as a visiting Senior Research Fellow in 2012 and in 2017 he was named Head of the LAC Program. He received a PhD in Economics from Johns Hopkins University, as well as an MA in Economics and an MA in International Relations from Johns Hopkins University.

Dr. Diaz-Bonilla has more than 40 years of professional experience working on development and poverty issues, including grass-roots work, academic activities, consulting work, and positions of institutional leadership in international organisations and governments. He has resided and worked for extended periods in different countries of Latin America and the Caribbean and has acted as consultant and staff member with several international organisations: United Nations Development Program (UNDP), Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), Inter-American Institute for Cooperation in Agriculture (IICA), Organization of American States (OAS), and World Bank. He has extensive experience as advisor and consultant to governments in different developing countries on macroeconomic and trade policies, poverty alleviation, and food security programs and extensive involvement in project preparation, financing, and implementation in developing countries, mainly on agricultural and rural development operations. He has led diplomatic and negotiating activities as a senior diplomat for Argentina, focusing on agricultural trade issues in bilateral, regional, and multilateral negotiations. Dr. Diaz-Bonilla served as a member of the Board of Executive Directors of the Inter-American Development Bank (IADB) for almost nine years, as well as occupying leadership positions as Chairman and Vice Chairman of several Board Committees responsible for the governance of the Bank. In 2017 he was elected Corresponding Member of the National Academy of Agronomy and Veterinary of Argentina.

Mr. Kazunuki Ohizumi is Professor emeritus at Miyagi University. He also taught at University of Tokyo and Tohoku University. He is specializing in agricultural management, agricultural policy and food distribution industry. He has extended experience in advising policy reform to the government. He currently serves as a Member of the Subcommittee on Agriculture of the Council for Industrial Competitiveness at the Prime Minister's Office.


Ichiro Kato is Former Senior Managing Director at National Federation of Agricultural Cooperative Associations (Zen-Noh). He currently serves as Representative Director at Juris Catalyst Co., Ltd. to interface between the judicial circles and farmers/JA Groups/agriculture businesses, as well as to develop practices to support young entrepreneurs. He has been working as a member of Japan China Korea FTA Joint Study Committee, Assessment Committee for Agriculture & Livestock Industries Corporation and Advisory Board for Graduate School of Horticulture at Chiba University.

Mr. Kazuhiro Takahashi is Director of Food Commerce and Marketing Division in the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF), the Government of Japan. He served as Director of Global Environment Division in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) by the end of September. Within MOFA he worked for international environmental institutions such as UNEP and Multilateral Environment Agreements including the Vienna Convention and the Montreal protocol. Prior to joining the Division, he worked in the Permanent Mission of Japan to the International Organizations in Geneva as a counselor from 2010-2013, and he was in charge of agriculture, especially Doha Round Agriculture Negotiation. 2008-2010, He was a Director for WTO negotiations in MAFF.

After school in North Manchester, Professor Swinbank worked as a farm labourer in Surrey for a year before university. Professor Swinbank studied at the University of Reading (BSc Agricultural Economics), McMaster University (MA Economics) and the London School of Economics and Political Science (PhD Economics, University of London). He then worked for four years as a junior administrator for the Commission of the European Communities in Brussels, in DG VI (the Directorate-General for Agriculture). He returned to the University of Reading in 1977 as a lecturer in Agricultural Economics, and was appointed to the chair in Agricultural Economics in 1988. Although he ‘retired’ in 2008, he is still actively engaged in research. He is also available to undertake consultancy projects

Mr. Mikitaro Shobayashi is Professor at Gakushuin Women’s College, Ph.D. in Agricultural Economics from University of Tokyo. With his 25-year experiences in working for a wide range of public organizations including Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries of Japan, the World Bank, and OECD before he joined Gakushuin Women’s College in 2007, Dr. Shobayashi is interested in contributing to policy making on efficient allocation of natural and agricultural resources as well as rural development. His professional interests range from multifunctionality of agriculture and its policy and trade implications, agri-environmental policies, agricultural water resources policies, global warming and agriculture, agriculture in emission trading, rural development policy, and agricultural policy system. He was the main author of OECD’s reports on multifunctionality of agriculture and its policy implications. After quitting from MAFF in 2007, he has been a member of several governmental committees, including the Planning Committee for Rebuilding the Area Affected by the Earthquake and Tsunami on March 11, 2011, which was established by the Prime Minister.

Ms. Junko Itoh is Former Board Member at Consumer Co-operative Kobe, one of the Japan’s largest consumer cooperatives. She currently serves as Councilor at Foundation of Food Safety and Security. She has been playing advisory role in food safety, agriculture and rural area policy making to both national (MAFF) and regional (Hyogo Prefecture) governments.

Asian Development Bank Institute, Tokyo, Japan