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HOME  > Past issues  > 2019 March 6 - 12  > Enactment of local ordinance to revive Seed Act expanding nationwide
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2019 March 6 - 12 [ECONOMY]

Enactment of local ordinance to revive Seed Act expanding nationwide

March 8, 2019

The Hokkaido Prefectural Assembly on March 6 adopted an ordinance bill to protect the seeds of Hokkaido's major farm products by the unanimous vote of all parties, including the Japanese Communist Party, the Liberal Democratic Party, and Komei.

The Abe-led national government in April last year abolished the Main Crop Seed Act on the pretext of facilitating the entry of private businesses into the seed market. However, local governments one after another introduced ordinances protecting heirloom seeds.

Hokkaido is the sixth prefecture after Yamagata, Niigata, Toyama, Saitama, and Hyogo which established a similar ordinance. In Gifu, a bill submitted by lawmakers to the same effect is under discussion in the prefectural assembly.

The former law made clear the responsibility of the national and local governments in terms of guaranteeing food supply for the people, urging each prefectural government to ensure a stable production and protection of seeds of major cereals and grains such as rice, wheat, and soy beans.

The new ordinance in Hokkaido stipulates that the prefecture will ensure a stable supply of and quality of seeds of major crops, including azuki beans, peas, and buckwheat.

Japan Family Farmers Movement (Nouminren) Secretary General Yoshikawa Toshiaki said, "The abolition of the Seed Act reflects the very nature of the Abe government's agricultural policy pushing aside the importance of food safety and security as well as the protection of the nation's agriculture. A counterattack against such a national policy has been started by localities with the support of even LDP local assemblypersons.

Past related article:
> 170,000 signatures calling for new seed act submitted to Diet [April 20, 2018]
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