Overhaul of Japan’s Agriculture Industry by 2016

Faced with the high likelihood of trade liberalization in the near future, the Japanese government is looking to overhaul the industry most affected by the increased free trade agreements by 2016: agriculture.

The government is hoping to revitalize Japan’s flagging agriculture industry by improving productivity through the consolidation of farmland and hopes to encourage more in the younger generations to begin a life of farming. Financial support is also expected to be offered to farmers competing with cheaper products produced internationally.

Though the initiative is a good move on the part of the Japanese government, the following questions must be considered first before action can be taken to remedy the FTA/farmer compromise:

  • It’s hard, it’s labour-intensive and doesn’t offer much in the way of career opportunities; how is the government planning to attract younger individuals to farming?
  • The initiative makes no mention of expanding Japan’s self-sufficiency. Will Japan become more self-sufficient as a result of this initiative, or will it continue to increase its dependence on food imports over the years?
  • Is Japan’s farm lobby going to accept this compromise?

[Source: Japan Today]

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