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Saturday, 17 January 2009

JFIR's Recommendation for Japan's Strategy for its Agriculture in the Globalized World

The Policy Council of the Japan Forum on International Relations (JFIR) has completed its one year long deliberation on its Policy Recommendation on the theme of “Japan’s Strategy for its Agriculture in the Globalized World”. Following its presentation of the recommendations, signed by the 99 members of the Council, to Prime Ministers Taro Aso, the Policy Council of JFIR held a Press Conference to announce its publication of the recommendations on January 2009 in Tokyo. The initial briefing was conducted in Japanese by Mr. Ito Kenichi President of JFIR and Prof. Honma Masayoshi Head of the Task Force for the Recommendations.

The 31st Policy recommendations of The Policy Council, The Japan Forum on International Relations.

I. Key Concepts to Change the Structure of Japan’s Agriculture

1. Regard Japanese Agriculture as Growing Industry and Make it Target the world markets.
2. Establish 21st-Century Food Production Base Area to Ensure a Stable Food Supply.
3. Integrate Plans for Farmland Use within Plans for the Effective Use of the Total National Land Base.
4. Use Agriculture to Revitalize Local Economies.
5. Abolish Policies that Reduce Rice Acreage.
6. Implement Food Security Policy from Two Perspectives: a Stable, Daily Supply of Food, and a Possible Severe Food Shortage due to Emergency Conditions in Japan.
7. Open Japan’s Agriculture to the World.

II. Mid- to Long-Term Measures

8. Assemble 1.5 Million hectares of Land into 10,000 Core Farms in Food Production Base Areas Measuring about 100 hectares each.
9. Designate the Food Production Base Areas as Special Economic Zones for Deregulated Farming.
10. Establish Financing Policies to Encourage Production, and Forgive the Loans of Highly Effective Farm Managers.
11. Introduce Land Use Planning that Emphasizes Optimal Use of Farm Land and the Surrounding Environment.
12. Compile Road Maps Showing a move toward Eliminating Rice Production Quotas and Increasing Annual Rice Production to 12 million tons.
13. Establish with in the Prime Minister’s Office a Pan-Ministerial Organization Responsible for the Economic Security of the Japanese People.
14. Use Japan’s Agricultural Technologies to Help Eliminate Food Problems in the World.

III. Key Measures for Urgent Needs

15. Assemble Large Blocks of Farmland Rapidly, by Helping Farmers Transfer Ownership of Their Land by Retiring Early.
16. Develop Agriculture-Commerce-Industry Partnerships to Create New Employment Opportunities in Farming Villages.
17. Establish Tax- and Donation-based Mechanisms to support the Employment of Retirees and the Establishment of Multifunctional farming.
18. Assist in the Training of Professionals, Especially Young Professionals, Who Will Promote Agricultural Exports.
19. Establish a Market for Transfer of Production Quotas, as an Essential Step toward Eliminating Rice Acreage Reduction Measures.
20. Accept 50,000 Foreign Farmlands under a Government-regulated Program.
21. Show Leadership in Guiding WTO Agricultural Negotiation to a successful Conclusion.

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