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HOME  > Past issues  > 2008 March 12 - 18  > JCP Chair Shii explains JCP agriculture revitalization plan to major agricultural organizations
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2008 March 12 - 18 [AGRICULTURE]

JCP Chair Shii explains JCP agriculture revitalization plan to major agricultural organizations

March 15, 2008
The Japanese Communist Party has begun visiting various agricultural organizations to explain the party’s proposal for rebuilding the nation’s agriculture (See Japan Press Weekly, No. 2565).

On March 14, JCP Chair Shii Kazuo visited two major organizations representing the interests of Japanese farmers and their agricultural co-operative organizations: the National Chamber of Agriculture and the Central Union of Agricultural Cooperatives (JA Zenchu).

In the meetings with officials of these two organizations, Shii said, “We heard about the difficulties facing the nation’s farmers’ and drew up a plan for the revitalization of Japanese agriculture. We are eager to know what you think about it and want to work together with you to attain common objectives.”

Shii said, “Some countries are implementing regulatory measures on imports due to grain price rises throughout the world. The government must abandon its thinking that the country has only to import cheap farming products from abroad at any time.”

Shii explained that the JCP’s 4-point plan stresses the importance of making efforts to raise the food self-sufficiency rate to at least 50 percent from the present 39 percent. He said that this is what Japan must do now as its main national policy and that the JCP proposed to combine a price support system based on production costs with an income support system by considering farmers’ roles in the effort to protecting the environment and the economy.

Shii also spoke about the importance of calling for trade rules to be established for the purpose of defending food sovereignty, rejecting arguments that defending imports is the solution.

At the National Chamber of Agriculture, the national organization of the agricultural committee, Matsumoto Hirota, executive managing director, said, “The important thing now is to ensure that agriculture has a future. We can support your 4-point plan.”

Hirose Takezo, JA Zenchu vice president, said, “As the JCP proposed this plan, I think that we may be able to begin discussing an agriculture policy that will obtain national consensus.”
- Akahata, March 15, 2008
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