- Title: JAPAN: Anti-APEC protests march through Yokohama
- Date: 14th November 2010
- Summary: YOKOHAMA, JAPAN (NOVEMBER 13, 2010) (REUTERS) STUDENTS MARCHING WITH BANNER READING IN ENGLISH "SMASH THE APEC YOKOHAMA MEETING, SMASH THE U.S.-JAPAN SUMMIT!" RIOT POLICE STANDING GUARD AS PROTESTERS MARCH BY RIOT POLICE SURROUNDING PROTESTER'S MARCH LINE STUDENTS SHOUTING SLOGANS PROTESTER WITH SIGN READING 'SMASH THE U.S.-JAPAN SUMMIT" RIOT POLICE BLOCKING PROTESTS FROM TAKING A DIFFERENT ROUTE PROTESTERS WITH FLAGS (SOUNDBITE) (Japanese) CHAIRMAN OF ZENGAKUREN (ALL-JAPAN FEDERATION OF STUDENT SELF-GOVERNMENT ASSOCIATIONS), SHIGEKI OKUBO, SAYING: "Japan's prime minister Kan's government is trying to sign a TPP (Trans-Pacific Partnership), this will destroy our agriculture and cattle ranches." RIOT POLICE AND STUDENT PROTESTERS MORE OF RIOT POLICE AND STUDENTS ON STREET RIOT POLICE MARCHING RIOT POLICE WATCHING MARCH MARCH SEEN FROM ABOVE
- Embargoed: 29th November 2010 12:00
- Location: Japan
- Country: Japan
- Topics: International Relations
- Reuters ID: LVA54EPPUQXDGFGU57P7RH8D1F8Y
- Story Text: Hundreds marched the streets of Yokohama, Japan's port city, on Saturday (November 13), to protest against the free-trade talks to be hosted by the Asia-Pacific leaders, a day after a sometimes rancorous G20 summit papered over differences on how to keep a fragile global economic recovery on track.
Security has been tight throughout the week as over 21,000 police from all over the country have been brought to Yokohama to patrol and secure the venue from security threats.
Riot police stood on guard as protesters held up banners and shouted "smash the APEC Yokohama meeting, smash the U.S.-Japan summit."
The protesters said that the country's heavily protected agricultural sector will be threatened once a vast free trade zone is created through the weekend's talks.
"Japan's Kan Prime minister's government is trying to sign a TPP (Trans Pacific Partnership), this will destroy our agriculture and cattle ranches," said Shigeki Okubo, chairman of Zengakuren, or the All-Japan Federation of Student Self-government Associations.
Japan has said it would start talks with other countries about the TPP, but stopped short of pledging to join negotiations formally due to ruling party worries about fallout for politically powerful farmers.
Japanese business lobbies have urged Prime Minister Naoto Kan to make clear his intention to join TPP talks when leaders of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) gather in Yokohama, south of Tokyo, on Nov. 13-14 to discuss a vision of a broad regional free trade area that would link the fast-growing region.
Japanese companies are eager for Tokyo to join the pact, warning that their goods will lose competitiveness and jobs move overseas if the country is left out of the deal.
The TPP started as a trade pact between Singapore, New Zealand, Chile and Brunei, who have since been joined in talks by Australia, Peru, Vietnam, Malaysia, and the United States. It would in principle eliminate all tariffs within the zone.
There is no formal deadline for completing talks, but supporters hope for a deal by the time that Obama hosts the annual APEC leaders summit in Hawaii in November 2011.
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