The Impact of Farmers’ Resistance to Trade Liberalization: A Comparative Study on Political Process around FTAs in Korea and Japan

Download (PDF, 577KB)

Author: Akio Nawakura, Meiji University, Japan
Email: republic_of_korea_1948@hotmail.com
Published: May 31, 2017
https://doi.org/10.22492/ijpel.4.1.03

Citation: Nawakura, A. (2017). The Impact of Farmers’ Resistance to Trade Liberalization: A Comparative Study on Political Process around FTAs in Korea and Japan. IAFOR Journal of Politics, Economics & Law, 4(1). https://doi.org/10.22492/ijpel.4.1.03


Abstract

This study asks why South Korea could liberalize its international trade faster than Japan in spite of its farmers’ strong opposition. Though both the governments of Korea and Japan had protected their agriculture until the 1990s, Korea has liberalized its trade of agricultural products much faster than Japan in these few decades. In both countries, farmers have resisted trade liberalization. However, Korean farmers have been less influential on their government than Japanese farmers. This is due to the farmers’ lobbying strategy. While Japanese farmers have lobbied ruling parties exchanging their ballots with political interests, Korean ones have relied on street demonstrations. Because the Korean farmers have not exchanged political interests with ballots, they have been less influential on policymakers than Japanese farmers.

Keywords

Korea, Japan, trade liberalization, FTA, farm lobby