JAPANESE CONSUMERS DESERVE A BREAK
In your article "GATT: It's yesterday's agreement" (Top of the News, Dec. 27), you only briefly mentioned rice imports by Japan. But it's a very, very big issue. Japan's Prime Minister, Morihiro Hosokawa, at last succeeded in introducing market forces thanks to a strong gaiatsu, or foreign pressure.
In Japan, consumers have forever been buying products and services at strictly regulated prices. The stronger yen never means stronger buying power for consumers in the highly protected Japanese market. For example, almost all the profits oil importers get from the favorable current exchange rate do not translate into lower gas prices. It's unfair, isn't it?