Japanese Rice Getting Cheaper?

In a recent article in, The Japan Times, the author discusses the need for Japanese farmers to produce cheaper rice. With the signing of the new TPP deal, Japan will see an influx of international products flood their domestic markets. This is especially true in their agricultural sections. The Japanese government is teaming up with local farmers to produce cheaper and more cost effective rice, in an effort to be more competitive in overseas markets. In what ways can Japanese farmers produce a cheaper product? Will this approach work? How may this strategy affect the quality of the rice?

Singapore says TPP vital for U.S. to be taken seriously in Asia

A few months back, Reuters politics reporter, David Brunnstrom, gave a brief summary of Singapore’s take on the importance of the TPP for the United States (http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/06/15/us-usa-trade-singapore-idUSKBN0OV2NF20150615).  Singapore Foreign Minister, K. Shanmugam, declared if the United States wants to be taken seriously amongst the Asia Pacific trading nations, it must be able to pass the TPP.  Given that the 12 countries involved are responsible for 40% of the world’s GDP, this deal would give the United States the upper-hand in regards to trading power.  The Obama administration has been very eager to get the agreement signed since his term is coming to a close, but more importantly for the benefits this deal has for American’s job stability.  Obama also claimed the TPP will help the U.S. reestablish its position as lead in setting the “global economic agenda” against China.