Prime Minister Koizumi's 'structural reform' won't help Japan's agriculture: JCP Fuwa

Japanese Communist Party Central Committee Chair Fuwa Tetsuzo has criticized Prime Minister Koizumi Jun'ichiro's "structural reform" of agriculture as just another Liberal Democratic Party government policy of encouraging large-scale farming and incorporation of farms.

In a JCP pubic assembly in Nagano City in Nagano Prefecture on June 3, Fuwa said the LDP is responsible for the decline in Japan's agriculture. He said that Japan's self-sufficiency rate for food is only 40 percent and for grains, only 25 percent, because past governments have not cared for increasing food self-sufficiency or taking price-support steps but have encouraged the reorganization of family farms to larger-scale corporations.

Prime Minister Koizumi has only put the label of "structural reform" on the unsuccessful LDP agricultural policy without adding any new ideas, and he therefore won't be able to reverse the decline in Japan's agriculture, said Fuwa.

As steps to improve Japan's agricultural policy, Fuwa said, the JCP urges the government to call for the revision of the WTO agreement which states that Japan must open its market to foreign rice.

The JCP also proposes that the government guarantee the minimum producer prices of farm products to help family farms maintain their operations. This will also be effective in helping to solve the problem of the shortage of successors, he emphasized. (end)