Indonesia OKs Low-Tariff Import Quota for Japanese Rice

REUTERS/Willy Kurniawan/file photo
The Indonesian national flag, outside the National Monument (Monas) in Jakarta, Indonesia.

Tokyo (Jiji Press)—Indonesia has agreed to set a low-tariff quota of 8,500 tons for rice imports from Japan, Japanese officials said Saturday.

The quota will be introduced as part of a revision of the two Asian countries’ economic partnership agreement for free trade, which was broadly agreed on, the officials added.

Within the quota, Indonesia will apply a tariff rate of around ¥4.3 per kilogram. The quota is expected to lead to a stable expansion of Japan’s rice exports.

According to the agriculture ministry officials, the current tariff rate is also about ¥4.3, but Indonesia is intentionally keeping the rate low due to domestic circumstances, leaving the possibility that it may be raised anytime.

In 2022, Japan exported only 39 tons of polished rice to Indonesia.

In the EPA review, Japan agreed to scrap import tariffs on canned tuna and bonito flakes from Indonesia. Tariff-free quotas will be expanded for bananas and pineapples.

Indonesia, for its part, agreed to lower or remove import tariffs on 19 industrial goods from Japan, such as automobiles and steel products.

The two sides confirmed they will improve e-commerce and intellectual property rules in the EPA.

Japan and Indonesia signed the EPA in 2007. The review negotiations began in 2015.

The broad agreement on the EPA revision was reached at Saturday’s meeting between Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and Indonesian President Joko Widodo in Tokyo.

The two leaders also confirmed that Japan will give Indonesia a large Japanese-built patrol ship to strengthen the Southeast Asian country’s maritime security capability.

After their meeting, Japanese Foreign Minister Yoko Kamikawa and her Indonesian counterpart, Retno Marsudi, exchanged notes on Japanese grant aid of up to about ¥9 billion to Indonesia.