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HOME  > Past issues  > 2022 June 29 - July 5  > Number of farmers in Japan down by half in 20 years, endangering nation’s food production
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2022 June 29 - July 5 [SOCIAL ISSUES]

Number of farmers in Japan down by half in 20 years, endangering nation’s food production

July 1, 2022
The number of agriculture management entities across Japan decreased in 2022 by 5.4% from the previous year to 975,100, nearly half of 2.08 million in 2005. This was revealed by the Agriculture Ministry data.

According to the ministry data, the number of organized management entities including corporate management stood at 41,000, up 1.5% from a year earlier, while the number of family management entities dipped 5.7% to 935,000.

Successive governments mainly led by the Liberal Democratic Party have promoted the liberalization of food imports and policies that disregard small and mid-sized farm operators. In addition, under the COVID-19 pandemic situation, the LDP-led government inflicted hardships on farmers as evidenced by the fact that the government failed to take proper actions to counter the falling prices of rice and milk.

The Japanese Communist Party in its campaign platform for the July 10 House of Councilors election appealed for the need to change the nation’s agricultural policy to one that will support family farming and increase the nation’s food self-sufficiency rate. Specifically, the JCP calls for improving the price support program for agricultural products and the income support program for farmers drastically; putting an end to the current uncontrolled free trade mechanism and instead establishing trade rules that respect each nation’s food sovereignty; expanding the program to support farm management so that family farmers will be covered; and withdrawing from the import of minimum access rice with very little domestic demand.
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