The Appropriate Revision of the Basic Law on Food, Agriculture and Rural Areas: Problems in the mid-term report by the panel of the policy council on food, agriculture and rural areas for the verification of the basic law on food, agriculture and rural areas Part 3 on food security

Author Name YAMASHITA Kazuhito (Senior Fellow (Specially Appointed), RIETI)
Creation Date/NO. July 2023 23-P-013
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Japan will face a food crisis not due to a price hike in the world grain market but because of import disruptions caused by the destruction of sea lanes to Japan. But the mid-term report does not show how much food the Japanese people will need in such a crisis. This is indispensable for considering how much farmland, fertilizers, insecticides, herbicides and other production factors for agricultural production are needed, or the necessary amount of food that should be stockpiled for use in an emergency. It is important to recognize that we cannot provide the Japanese people with food without securing energy for the entire food supply chain including the supply of agricultural inputs, processing, storage, and distribution. The measures for food security differ depending on the different phases of a crisis, such as an initial stage without imported food and the next more serious stage without oil for agricultural production.

The agricultural industry has taken advantage of food security and the increase of food self-sufficiency ratio to secure agricultural protection. It has promoted the acreage reduction of rice paddy fields and conversion of farmland for residential use which is contradictory to food security. We should restructure the measures for food security in terms of ensuring the supply of food for our nation.