A full assessment of the impact of Chinese farm product imports on the domestic market must be completed before further imports are allowed by the government, according to the farm, finance and trade ministers who are jointly conducting the survey.

Concern over soaring imports from China has led the three ministers to call for the implementation of trade restrictions in the short term. They spoke at a recent news conference about the possibility of invoking emergency “safeguard” measures on several particular products; stone leeks, shiitake mushrooms and rushes.

Their call was echoed by members of the Research Commission on Comprehensive Agriculture, a body organised through the ruling governmental party. 

Takeo Hiranuma, Economy, Trade and Industry Minister, commented separately that an official request to curb the imports had not yet been received.

If the Japanese ministers could prove through the survey that the imports from China are proving detrimental to the domestic agricultural industry, the introduction of trade restrictions would be perfectly within the rules of the World Trade Organisation (WTO).