The Variety of Lobbying: Comparison of FTA Politics and Farmers’ Lobbying in South Korea and Japan

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Akio Nawakura,


This study asks why the government of Korea paid 180 billion US dollars as agricultural subsidies in exchange for ratifying the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with the United States despite the nation’s farm lobby has had limited political resources. Compared with Japan, which the farm lobby has had rich political resources, two major Korean farm lobby of the Korea Advanced Farmers Federation (KAFF) and the Korea Peasant League (KPL) had poor resources and had to rely on the street demonstration to express their opposition to the FTA. While the Japanese farm lobby gained the government’s concession as a result of conventional style of lobbying, however, the street demonstration by the KAFF and the KPL played the role of indirect lobbying and pressured the government to increase the subsidies. Theoretically this indicates diverse political channels to reflect political-economic interests on public policies.

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