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HOME  > Past issues  > 2020 August 26 - September 1  > Japan's food self-sufficiency rate rises by only 0.4 percentage points
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2020 August 26 - September 1 [SOCIAL ISSUES]

Japan's food self-sufficiency rate rises by only 0.4 percentage points

August 26, 2020
The 2019 White Paper (WP) on agriculture reflects the Abe government's backward stance toward the improvement of Japan's food self-sufficiency rate, one of the country's pressing issues.

According to the latest WP, Japan's food self-sufficiency rate has continued to drop from 79% in fiscal 1960. The rate in FY 2019 was 37.82%, up only 0.4 percentage points from 37.42% in FY 2018.

Japan regards livestock products produced in Japan as domestic even if they were raised on imported feed. Depending on imported feed, however, is tantamount to relying on other countries to supply the national pantry.

The quinquennial WP sets a goal of increasing the rate to 45% in FY 2030. The WP previous five years ago pursued the 45% goal to be achieved by FY 2025. Five years before that, Japan in the 2009 WP made 50% in fiscal 2020 as its goal.

However, the second Abe government which was inaugurated in December 2012 lowered its sights to 45% and postponed the target year to FY 2025. This year, the government again extended the target year for another five years to fiscal 2030.

The Food, Agriculture and Rural Areas Basic Act stipulates that "target for food self-sufficiency ratio" shall be established "in view of improving the ratio" and that "a stable supply of food to citizens must be ensured by increasing domestic agricultural production as a base".

The Japanese Communist Party in its Program calls for a fundamental change in Japan's agriculture policy with the focus on multifunctionality such as increasing the self-sufficiency of food, securing safe and reliable food as well as preserving agricultural land, and promotion of agriculture as a key productive sector in the government's industrial policy.

Past related article:
> Decline in food self-sufficiency rate points to failure of Abe’s agriculture policy [August 22, 2019]
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