New Zealand’s limited ability to influence the trading environment in Japan was demonstrated in the fish-for-beef episode in 1978. New Zealand’s recently-acquired entitlement to a 200-nautical-mile exclusive economic zone (EEZ) came into force in April 1978. It seemed to provide an opportunity to negotiate improved access for New Zealand beef to the Japanese market, in exchange for access for Japanese fishing vessels to the EEZ. The agreement finally reached indicated Japanese awareness of New Zealand concerns, but the long-term improvement in beef exports was negligible.
Cartoon courtesy of Debby Edwards
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