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HOME  > Past issues  > 2024 May 29 - June 4  > Revised law that sidelines improvement of Japan’s food self-sufficiency rate enacted
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2024 May 29 - June 4 [POLITICS]

Revised law that sidelines improvement of Japan’s food self-sufficiency rate enacted

May 30, 2024
A bill to revise the basic agriculture law that will further promote Japan’s reliance on food imports was adopted and enacted at the House of Councilors plenary session by the majority vote of the ruling parties along with the “Nippon Ishin no Kai” party.

The Japanese Communist Party, the Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan, and the Democratic Party for the People voted against the bill.

JCP lawmaker Kami Tomoko, in discussions prior to the vote, pointed out that the existing law sets a goal to improve Japan’s food self-sufficiency rate. However, the revised law only states that food security will be ensured by such means as importing and stockpiling food. She strongly criticized the government for abandoning its responsibility to tackle the most important task of improving Japan’s self-sufficiency rate.

Kami stressed the need to fundamentally overcome the current critical situation of food self-sufficiency and the viability of agriculture in Japan, and said, “In order to achieve this, the government should place the improvement of the food self-sufficiency rate at the heart of its agriculture policy and increase the budget for agriculture drastically.”

Kami pointed out that Japan’s food self-sufficiency rate is 38% mainly because successive Liberal Democratic Party governments have promoted the liberalization of food imports through free trade agreements, such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP), the Japan-U.S. trade agreement, and the Japan-EU economic partnership agreement (EPA). Noting that the revised law seeks to “stably import more food”, the JCP lawmaker criticized the law for undermining the foundation of domestic production of agricultural products.

Past related article:
> JCP submits proposal calling on gov’t to improve Japan’s food self-sufficiency rate as a vital task [August 24, 2023]
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