Japan to industrialise agriculture

Japanese farmer byGullevek flickrJapan agriculture has remained a relatively neglected area of concern since the 1950s economic boom that left farmers behind in both income and agricultural technology. (Image Source: Gullevek/Flickr)The ruling Liberal Democratic Party has submitted proposals to assist Japanese farmers and businesses cope with the likely impact of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP)

The party proposals include measures to protect the country’s farmers, such as buying the same amount of domestic rice as foreign rice imported under new quotas to be set up under the free trade agreement.

The TPP began as a 2005 pact between Brunei, Chile, New Zealand and Singapore. It called for reduction of all tariffs by 90 per cent between member countries by 1 January 2006, and reduction to zero by last year.

Ex-minister of state for economic and fiscal policy Akira Amari said, “In Japan’s agriculture of the future, farmers will be required to industrialise their farming activities, and turn their farms into businesses. They will need to introduce marketing, branding and IT, and operate their farming activities as businesses.”

The Japanese government has planned to implement various measures to support agriculture, forestry and fisheries. Among the measures, the government will be effectively appealing the attractiveness of Japanese cuisine, or washoku. “Also, we will be promoting the sales of Japanese produce coming from various local economies to inbound tourists, so that we can explore the demand frontier from other countries,” Amari said.

Next year autumn is targeted for finalising the concrete substance of this policy, Amari added.

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