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HOME  > Past issues  > 2019 September 18 - 24  > Farmers begin drive to collect signatures calling for protection of family farming
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2019 September 18 - 24 [SOCIAL ISSUES]

Farmers begin drive to collect signatures calling for protection of family farming

September 18, 2019

The National Campaign for Defense of the People's Food and Health (Shokukenren) on September 15 in Tokyo started collecting signatures calling for protection of family farming and an increase in Japan’s food self-sufficiency rate in preparation for the launch of its annual “Green Wave” action.

The “Green Wave” action is a nationwide two-month campaign conducted by Shokukenren every autumn with the aim of protecting food safety and increasing the nation’s food self-sufficiency rate. In this year’s campaign, the organization will mainly focus on blocking the conclusion of a Japan-U.S. free-trade agreement and on contributing to the success of the UN campaign “Decade of Family Farming 2019-2028”.

Representatives of Shokukenren member groups, such as farmers’ organizations and trade unions, gathered near Yoyogi Station. Delivering speeches, they in turn stressed the need to put a stop to the ongoing Japan-U.S. trade talks as well as to the conclusion of the Japan-U.S. FTA, and asked passersby to sign the petition.

Secretary General of the Japan Family Farmers Movement (Nouminren) Yoshikawa Toshiaki criticized the Prime Minister Abe-led government for its intent to make a trade deal with the U.S. behind closed doors and gain Diet approval in an extraordinary session scheduled to be called in October with the dominant position held in the Diet by PM Abe’s Liberal Democratic Party.

National Confederation of Trade Unions (Zenroren) officer Akiyama Masaomi referred to the fact that toxic pesticide residues were detected in bread made from imported wheat flour. He said, “A growth in imports of agricultural products is directly connected to food safety. It is necessary to implement measures that will financially support Japanese farmers.”

A female university student in her 20s, who seeks to expand her agricultural knowledge in graduate school, signed the petition, and said, “I oppose the conclusion of a Japan-U.S. FTA because it will deliver a serious blow to Japan’s agriculture.”

A 25-year-old man living in Kagawa Prefecture signed his name and voiced his concern that with the promotion of free trade, the domestic food market may be inundated with foreign products.

Past related articles:
> Abe and Trump supposedly agree to conclude new free-trade deal after Japan’s Upper House election [May 28, 2019]
> Abe’s submissive stance in trade talks with US will lead Japan into economic ruin [April 19, 2019]
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