Yesterday, a press event took place, hosted by the American Chamber of Commerce in Japan, with Daniel M. Price, Assistant to the President and Deputy National Security Advisor for International Economic Affairs speaking on “The Future of U.S-Japan Economic Relations”. In other words, Price spoke instead of Bush on what America would like Japan to do.
As is in the headlines time and time again, Price spoke about the issue of Japan’s agricultural reform, with Price stating “there is no clear reason why Japan should not import US beef” – a well repeated line from Bush. Then, a professor from a university in Tokyo asked the question “The US give enormous agricultural subsidies, how can you ask Japan to do this?” Thinking that Price would be used to difficult questions and would have a slick response for this, it was surprising to see how incapable he was of giving a proper answer. All he came up with was “there are two types of agricultural trade” and went on to explain that the man was referring to subsidies when Price had been referring to market entry. The man then heckled out “aren’t they the same thing? If you give so many subsidies, then it will affect market entry, even if it’s indirectly”.
Price responded “I think I’ve answered your question”, spoke a little more about what he had already said and then turned his back in a “that’s all” manner.
The press event was mainly propaganda and one journalist summed it up well by sleeping through the whole event.
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