Japan’s New Agric Minister To Diversify Export Destinations, Revamp Production System

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News in brief: New agric minister of Japan, Ichiro Miyashita, plans to diversify export destinations to reduce risks associated with China’s import ban. He also stressed the need to revamp the farm production system and secure a stable supply chain

Japan’s new agriculture minister, Ichiro Miyashita, has expressed his intention to work on diversifying export destinations. He revealed that this was necessary to reduce risks in the wake of China’s blanket import ban on aquatic products from Japan.

“We have now realisded that exporting scallops in large volume to China is risky, so we are ready to work on diversifying export destinations,” he said.

The minister added that the government will maintain its targets of increasing exports of agriculture, forestry and fishery goods. The aim, for him, is to find markets where exporters can sell high-quality Japanese food most effectively. According to a media report, he said that locating this and ramping up promotion activities can lead to increments of about ¥2 trillion ($13.5 billion) by 2025 and ¥5 trillion ($33.8 billion) by 2030.

Miyashita also stressed the need to drastically revamp the farm production system, which he said was created during the time of population explosion but have now been delayed. He added that the country needs more and more farmland.

Japan has also suffered from the supply chain disruption caused by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Miyashita confessed that domestic production was too reliant on fertiliser and feed imports. Hence, the country will increase efforts to stabilise supply channels.

However, the minister noted the significance of changing farming mindset as well as making most of farmlands with smaller number of people. He revealed that areas like the mountainous regions of the country, which are facing depopulation, can contribute to the economy if farmers are able to setup restaurants or private lodgings there.

Agriculture (and mining) formed the primary sector the Japanese economy until the 1940s. However, together they now account for only 1.3% of gross national product.

Joseph Akahome
Joseph Akahome
Joseph O Akahome (OJ) is a writer, with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and Literature from the University of Benin. He is an avid agriculturist, with a bias for poultry and an insatiable appetite for chicken wings. When he is neither reading nor researching, he likes to spend recreational time playing board games, or swimming in serene forested lakes.

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