Government must secure crop prices: Shii

Amid concerns increasing over the nation's agricultural crisis, Japanese Communist Party Chair Shii Kazuo called on the government to protect farmers from devastating price falls.

He stated this at a JCP speech before an audience of 7,500 in a JCP public assembly on May 24 in Sapporo City in Hokkaido.

In Hokkaido, eight items which include whole milk, rice, potatoes, sugar beets, wheat, and beef cows, were removed from the country's price support measures. Anxiety about market-driven price fluctuations is now spreading among Hokkaido farmers.

Shii said that in the United States 85 percent of the agricultural budget is allotted to securing farm products and agricultural income while the Japanese government uses only 20 percent for that purpose. He added that 50 percent of a U.S. rice grower's income comes from government subsidy while a Japanese farmer is paid only eight percent. (end)