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MAFF UPDATE Number 729 (Published in March, 2010)


Number 729
March,, 2010
A update of news from the Japanese
Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries
International Policy Planning Division, Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries
Kasumigaseki 1-2-1, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 100-8950
Fax: 81-3-5512-7652
Editor: Kenji Kitamura



Summary of the Basic Plan for Food, Agriculture and Rural Areas                                                                                                                                                              March, 2010




With candid reviewing over previous ever agricultural policy planning, these have been failed to stop changing the streamline of severe situation in agriculture and rural areas that are in facing of going down and the necessity of placing these concerns on the first priority of one of the nation's strategies with drastic turnover of policy planning. The most important and basic responsibility for the nations is to secure stability of food supply for citizen.

To add, the target is that all Japanese people could enjoy the benefits of the multiple functions which are belonging to agriculture and rural areas. On the other hand, because of the overflowing of imported agricultural products with low-price and the surplus production in which make nation's agriculture price goes down, it is hard to get through these difficulties by individual effort of farmers. Thus, by every citizen's understanding and behavior toward the target which will establish “the society where agriculture and rural areas are supported by every citizen”. 

On the point of view with above, the Japanese government shall take immediate measures for revival of ‘Food' and ‘Regions' (promptly).


1) Basic policy with regards to the measure of food, agriculture and rural areas

With the research of past measures and concerns, organize the basic planning of measures which shall be tackled.


 The direction of political measure to take into account over food, agriculture and rural areas
 1. Revised policy to secure management for possibility of reproduction

The targets will be 1) to prevent selling below cost of agricultural production, 2) to keep continuing the agriculture by all farmers including aggressive part-timers and small-sized farmers in future, 3) to prepare the environment where management development is feasible, and 4) to create basis for reproductive farmer management. 

2. Revised policy to support the initiative to make expanding production by corresponding various use and demand and for enhancing the added values. 

Collaboration of primary, secondary, and tertiary industry shall enhance the initiative to expand production of agriculture. In addition to this, promote the tackle toward diversified and advanced management of agriculture to boost the sixth industrialization of famers and rural areas.


3. Revised policy to raise and secure various aggressive farmers

For the purpose of having farmers continue and develop farming business with making the most use of their originality and ingenuity, build up the policy by support to various effort and initiative which shall be respected on local basis. 

4. Establish policy to secure excellent farming lands and its possible practical use

To tighten the regulations of farmland conversion with securing fine farmlands by promotion of countermeasure against abandoned farmland, to secure a various farmers. To establish the revised policy for making good use of the rural areas by some measures to attempt to improve the utilization of the cultivated land. In addition, to promote organization of necessary production basis. 

5. Comprehensive measure to aim at revival for vibrant rural districts (agricultural, mountain and fishing villages)

Conversion comprehensive policy act for educating new industries, exchange culture of urban and rural areas, to intensify the structure of village function as the countermeasures of rural districts. 

6. Establish policy for the purpose of realizing eating habits with a reassurance feeling

Establishment to secure stable food supply and safety through healthy improvement of food industries with the priority of the effective and direct measures for boosting up food-self sufficiency which is based on the concept of “preference to prevent mishaps rather than cleaning them up”.


Seeking for the possibility to meet the new streamlines


- Rising up of developing countries in the world economy

- Proceeding of the world environmental concerns regarding the climate change and others

- Expansion of the migration over national borders and occurrence of various   apprehensive factors

- Search for recovery of our nation's economy

- Diversification of people's values and life-style


A viewpoint of policy reform


- Deployment of policy which is effective, efficient and easy to understand

- Deployment of policy where the object citizens can make their best effort by independent and original way.

- Deployment of policy to promote citizen's understanding and concrete activities


Comprehensive deployment of policy for the food, agriculture and rural areas based on its new theory


Based on the below policy, the final target is aiming to achieve 50% of the food self-sufficiency rate by setting up policy scheme comprehensively, enhancing each policies which are on the list of third clause (Number 3).


-Setting up the program of income support direct payment

-Conversion to the productive structure in match for consumers whose needs are ‘high-quality”, “safety and assurance.

- A revival of the rural districts by collaboration of primary, secondary, and tertiary industry


2) A target for the food self-sufficiency rate 

It is indispensable to improve the food self-sufficiency rate at the maximum toward the future in the agricultural policy, because of the ongoing imminent situation of the world food demand, like grains, etc.

To pull out the target for food self-sufficiency rate up to 50% on the basis of supply calorific volume, (70% on the basis of production value) it shall be on the premise with a international state, the circumstance of agriculture and the rural areas, and with the utmost effort from relevant citizen for the purpose of overcome any concerns by 2020.

To clarify matters which should be tackled mainly both production and consumption, the concerns should also be solved for the purpose of achievement goal already mentioned above. In addition to this, it is necessary to enhance citizen's understanding.


3) Policies which shall be taken comprehensively and deliberately as regards food, agriculture and rural areas


Measures shall be deployed to appropriately corresponding to change in the situation of food, agriculture and rural areas focusing on complete measures over improvement of food self-sufficiency rate.


Measure with regards to securing stable food supply


1) To secure safety of food and consumer's reliance

Based on the idea of “Beforehand protection rather than its adjustment”, improve the safety of domestic agricultural and marine products as well as foods.

GAP promotes a building up of a common basis including advanced contents initiative, HACCP establishes the method which can be adopted with low cost and dissemination even in the small-sized management, and the traceability promotes to consider obligation against every food and beverage except grain.

Secure safety assurance of imported foods by tightening scrutiny and strengthen monitoring system.

Expand obligation to indicate the origin of ingredients of every processed food.

Furthermore, to consider as it is to strengthen function of risk evaluation organization, as the food safety agency which is centralized risk management under cooperation in related Ministries and Agencies.


2) Enforcement of ties between food and agriculture on the basis of the axis of the domestic agricultural products

Enforce the connection between the production of domestic agricultural products and citizen's dietary habits through discovery of potential demand on domestic agricultural products, citizen's activity and dietary education for boosting up its continuous consumption.

Support for making use of local products by enforcement of local direct store depots and its sales by intensive cooperation with the actual demanders who are like school catering, the small and medium sized food service industry.


3) Continual development of food service industry and its new expansion

To engage in promotion cooperative tackle between food franchise industry, in revitalization over its domestic market and in intensification business foundation according to overseas development. Provide a plan to clarify confront direction toward expectation of whole food industry in the near future and every related concern.


4) Establishment of comprehensive food security assurance

To secure stable food supply to citizen at large based on increase in domestic agricultural production. Also, to correspond to apprehension factor with regards to stable food supply, take securing measure to maintain production materials and strengthen quarantine for imported products, domestic control and quarantine measures. In addition, establish comprehensive food security assurance including matters such as considerable tackle on distribution and consumption, promotion of international cooperation and support to foreign agricultural investment.


5) Correspondence to international negotiation based on the importance of stable food supply as an importing country


With regards to the agricultural negotiation at WTO Doha round, retain the basic theory “coexistence of various agriculture” coping with matters placing the utmost reflection of nation's standpoint in mind.

With regards to EPA/FTA, tackle matters based on improvement of food safety, its stable supply and the food self-sufficiency rate, and avoid impairing encouragement of domestic agriculture and rural areas.


Measures regarding continuous development of agriculture


1) Establishment of the program of income support direct payment and reorganization of measures related to production and management

It is essential to organize situation in which farmers can take their business development continuing agriculture by all of aggressive farmers including part-timer and small-sized farmers for the purpose to improve nation's food self-sufficiency rate and maintain multi-planned surface. Thus, it sets up the individual income compensation system. Hereafter, consider its position on the system organizing the relationship between this system and other measures with regards to additional payment counterbalance to their scale, quality and eco-friendliness. Additionally, consider the meaning of this system and its timing of establishment for other items except rice.


2) Increased income by the sixth industrialization of agriculture and rural areas

Realize the ideal community where any young person or child can reside in the rural districts and enhance collaboration of primary, secondary, and tertiary industry creating new additional value and human resources securing employment and their income in terms of unification to production, processing and sales, promoting local strategic grapple, enhancing systematic implementation of export promotion, reduction of productive materials costs, enhancing collaboration of primary, secondary, and tertiary industry 


3) Enhancement of agricultural management by various types of highly-motivated farmers

By adoption of the income support direct payment, organize a condition in which every highly-motivated farmer can keep managing agriculture and make family agricultural businesses improvement such as scale enlargement and diversify of the way of business. In this case, make use of farmland ownership system which is taken and well-known in local community. Also, foster and secure community agricultural management by small-sized farms and part-timers who are contributing to employment in local areas.

Furthermore, boost up fostering and securing new human resources and activities from female or elderly citizen pushing smooth rise of funds by various types of highly-motivated farmers.


4) Securing fine farming land and promoting its effective use

Consider specific program making enforcement and comprehensive land use for agricultural produce and the others, and the system to decide on the policy by listening to the opinions from local residents.


5) Compensation for agricultural loss

Take logical measure for the act on compensation for agricultural loss for the purpose of seeking for stability of agri-business


6) Promotion of the measure of farm-work safety

Strengthen the safety measure for farm-work under cooperation with citizen in an administrative organizations or a private sectors.


7) A drastic reform of improvement of agricultural production base for strengthening agricultural productivity

In terms of improvement of agricultural production base, a drastic reform is required for its structure and the method for the sake of necessity of more efficient and successful enforcement, this plays a significant role to prop up the nation's productivity. To promote new expansion of preservation of agricultural production base and its maintenance such as strategy preservative management of the major irrigation facilities, the program making the most use of local discretion, preparing for better agricultural production base regards as the improvement of food self-sufficiency rate.


8) Promoting the plan to prop up sustainable agricultural productivity

Promote settling up the farming method with highly effective eco-friendly one such as the soil management to directly connect with the increase of carbon sequestration in farmlands, control of winter-seasoned static flooding. With regards to the organic agriculture, enhancing further expansion of production and its marketing through making the most use of the work based on the act on the promotion of organic agriculture or the certification system for JAS Organic standards


Measures with regards to the promotion of rural areas


1) Collaboration of primary, secondary, and tertiary industry for farmers and rural areas

By combination and unification of agriculture and other industries, to tie-up every resource such as biomass energy from the rural districts, to promote the multi function agricultural business in conjunction with an agriculture and the rural areas for the purpose of creating local business development and new type of business.


2) Interchange of urban and rural areas


Promoting practical use of the rural areas as the place where to create new interchange demand of the rural areas, human resources including urban areas shall be secured, fostered and educated and as medical, and care-giving areas.


3) Promotion of agriculture at urban and its outskirts areas

To deliberate upon reconsideration related to secure urban farmland and its development. To protect an urban farmland, promote the plan and come into the function and the productivity's own.


4) Preservation of community function and conservation of local resources and environment

To consider the measures for preservation and revitalization of rural areas community, to consider continuous execution of direct payment system in hilly and mountainous areas and with its legally action, and to review evaluation of the measure to conserve and improve land, water and environment and the way it should be, to promote the measure of damage caused by animals, and to promote the realization of comfortable, safety and peacetime life in rural areas.


5) Settling upon a plan with regards to future vision of activation of rural districts

To clarify the future image of rural areas, settling upon a plan of the vision of activation of rural areas to indicate the direction toward enhancement under the cooperation of the related ministries and agencies.


Measures related to in food, agriculture and rural areas in a cross-sectional way


1) Comprehensive promotion in technical and environmental(conditional) policy

Comprehensive and systematical promotion of consistent support from the research and development to dissemination and industrialization, contribute to the global environmental concerns including countermeasure against the global warming and conservation on biological diversity and protection of intellectual property and its practical use, formulating development of innovative technology, its industrialization, for the purpose of to realize conversion toward the low-carbon-type industry structure. The government seeks for comprehensive technological development and its environmental strategy. 


2) Making various cooperative axis to prop up “agriculture”

The various type of citizen who are in the diversified field connect with agriculture shall promote strengthen information dissemination, substantial coordinating with citizen concerned , shall secure human resources, obtain understanding from citizen in rank and file and promote arousal of their concrete action.


Measure with regards to group's reorganization


Each group (agricultural cooperatives, an organization of agricultural committee, agricultural mutual relief association, and improvement district. etc.) shall promote their efficient reorganization which is aimed to their function and roles promptly and efficiently from the viewpoint of the appropriate implementation by their basic function.


4) Necessary Facts for promoting policy comprehensively and systematically


Comprehensive promotion in measures by the united cooperation with the government and citizens under adequate division of roles with concerned persons.

Realize the process of policy determination on the viewpoint of public by hearing to citizens' opinions, scientific and objective analysis and proper use of policy evaluation.

Effective and focused operation of financial measure through selection of policy and its intensive implementation






International Policy Planning Division
International Affairs Department
TEL:+81-3-3591-9681 FAX:+81-5512-7652

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