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Agricultural Industry
Agricultural Industry
  1. Apples and International Relations
  2. Mikan and Trade Disputes
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White paper bags covering apples on trees
These apples, in Obuse, Japan, have paper bags on them to protect them from damages.
Photo Courtesy of Carolyn Allen. Copyright 2004, Carolyn Allen,
Apples and International Relations
Over the years, international pressures to open Japan's domestic food market hit the apple industry, and the import of U.S. grown apples began in 1995. In the summit meeting in 1996, President Clinton presented Japanese Prime Minister Murayama with a basket of Washington apples, urging Japanese consumers to buy more American apples. Apple growing is highly labor intensive in Japan, where growers cover each apple with a bag to prevent blight and improve the visual appeal of the fruit. Despite their higher prices, many Japanese consumers prefer the sweeter taste of domestic apples. The Japanese government requires strict quarantine for imported apples. The U.S. government has appealed for the loosening of the quarantine through the World Trade Organization, and the Japanese side plans to fight back.
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