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HOME  > Past issues  > 2008 April 9 - 15  > JCP agricultural revitalization policy warmly accepted in Niigata
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2008 April 9 - 15 [JCP]

JCP agricultural revitalization policy warmly accepted in Niigata

April 10, 2008
In Niigata Prefecture, one of Japan’s largest rice-producing regions, the Japanese Communist Party’s local leaders, joined by JCP Dietmembers, are reaching out to leaders of local agricultural cooperatives to discuss ways to solve various problems facing Japanese agriculture.
JCP member of the House of Councilors Inoue Satoshi and local JCP leaders on April 7 visited farmers and agricultural organizations and explained the “Agriculture Revitalization Plan” which the JCP published in March calling for a “shift to an agricultural policy that aims to increase the food self-sufficiency rate and enables farmers to farm without anxiety.”
Takeda Katsutoshi, JCP candidate for the House of Representatives local bloc (including Niigata) have visited local agriculture leaders at 11 out of the 26 agriculture cooperatives in Niigata so far.
In a meeting with Takeda, Nashimoto Tsutomu, JA (Japan Agriculture Cooperative) Niigata-Mirai in Niigata City said, “It is very difficult to restore a paddy field that has been abandoned. Agriculture is not compatible with market forces. Revitalization of agriculture is a matter of the greatest urgency.”
The JCP proposal, which was also reported by the daily Nogyo Shimbun (Japan Agricultural News), calls for the producer’s price to be guaranteed at 17,000 yen per 60 kilograms; its market price has recently fallen to about 13,000 yen.
Nashimoto warned, “Farmers who have expanded their acreage are in great difficulty due to falls in the market price below the production cost. Even though a farmer shipped 2,000 60-kilo bags of rice last year, his income decreased by 10 million yen due to the combination of falls in prices and bad weather.”
Hoshi Yoshihiro, director of the JA North-Uonuma in Uonuma City, said, “Costs of fertilizer have risen 30 percent. We cannot continue rice production if the high brand rice ‘Uonuma Koshihikari’ is sold at prices below 24,000 yen per bag (60 kilograms).”

In Niigata, which has long been an important vote base for the LDP, farmers began to openly express their dissatisfaction and anger at LDP agriculture policy, and support for JCP policy is increasing.
- Akahata, April 10, 2008
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