Jakarta (ANTARA) - The Indonesian government has sought Japan's support for eliminating four tariff duties for canned tuna, in compliance with the general review of the Indonesia-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement (IJEPA) framework.

Japan's rejection of Indonesia’s request for the elimination of the four tariff duties has so far hampered the exports of Indonesian fishery products to the East Asian nation.

"The Indonesian government really hopes that Japan can approve the elimination of flour tariff duties for canned tuna, and can provide an import duty rate of zero percent, given the large export value," Coordinating Minister for Economic Affairs, Airlangga Hartarto, said in a statement issued on Wednesday.

The issue is important because Indonesia has relaxed several investment rules at Japan’s request and has accommodated them in the Job Creation Law, Hartarto said during a working visit to Tokyo, Japan.

So far, Japan has only accorded the zero percent import duty preference to Thailand for the four tariff duties for canned tuna, while Indonesia is still required to pay a tariff rate of 7 percent.

In fact, the economic value of the four tariff duties for Indonesian canned tuna has led to exports to Japan reaching US$73.8 million, or 12 percent of the total export value of Indonesian fishery products to Japan, based on 2020 data.

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Hartarto discussed the elimination of the tariff and other obstacles to the exports of Indonesian agricultural products to Japan during a meeting with the Japanese Minister of Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries, Kaneko Genjiro, in Tokyo on Wednesday.

Indonesia's banana exports are currently still subject to a tariff rate of 10 to 20 percent. Further, Japan has provided a quota of only one thousand tons per year for the import duty exemption facility.

Hence, the minister asked for additional banana export quota of up to 4 thousand tons per year so that Indonesia can avail the import duty exemption facility.

The minister also sought the easing of regulations that hinder Indonesia's pineapple exports to Japan.

Hartarto assured of the ease of importing goods from Japan, as regulations on processed and fresh food related to the issuance of radioactive-free certificates for Japanese fishery and agricultural exports to Indonesia are already in place.

In response to Hartarto's request, Minister Genjiro asked for time for more in-depth discussions at the technical level.

During the meeting, the Indonesian minister was accompanied by Minister of Industry, Agus Gumiwang Kartasasmita, and Indonesian Ambassador to Japan, Heri Ahmadi, among others.

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Translator: Satyagraha, Fardah
Editor: Suharto
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