Japan's food self-sufficiency ratio has been declining since the 1960s, and the major causes of this decline were increase in agricultural production costs, changes in food consumption pattern, progress in agricultural import liberalization, and decline in prices of imported agricultural products due to the appreciation of the Japanese yen. For attaining Japan's food security it will be effective to hold appropriate level of food stocks, and diversify import sources of agricultural products as well as making long-term import contract of agricultural products. In order to attain the supply of necessary minimum amount of food it is desirable to prepare a plan to transform and expand agricultural production as soon as food crises occur.
Japan finally accepted and implemented tariffication for rice imports as of April 1, 1999. Despite the intention of the government, who estimated smaller amount of rice imports and less pressure to the domestic producers, tariffication allows unlimited amount of imports provided that tariff is paid. Under an careful estimates of production costs and quality evaluation of foreign produced rice, high quality rice may be imported at a considerable amount much earlier than the government originally forecasted, assuming that a 2.5% reduction of tariff rate continues and domestic market prices do not change beyond year 2000. A 2.5% reduction of tariff implies that domestic market prices will eventually decline by 100 yen per year for 10kg of rice. In this situation, Japanese rice producers need to prepare for the up-coming competion from the rice imports. Reduction of production costs and increases in quality of rice produced are important. Removal of the current diversion program, in particular, should allow producers to cut down costs. Because of diversification of sources of high quality rice supply due to tariffication, degree of national food security may be enhanced by the tariffication.
The Japanese diet has been characterized by a nutritionally well-balanced intakes and has drawn wide attention internationally because of its acclaimed healthfulness. The individual by age groups consumption of rice, fresh fish, fresh meats, fresh milk and milk products, fresh vegetables and fresh fruits were estimated from the early 1980s to the middle of 1990s. Panel data of approximately 96, 000 households per year of the Family Income and Expenditure Survey were used. The multiple regression model expressed monthly consumption of a chosen commodity by a j-th household (dependent variable) as a linear function of the j-th household's number of family members by age groups (independent variables). At home consumption of beef by teen-agers increased the fastest: up 65% and those in their forties to sixties also increased substantially: 20% over this period. Fresh milk increased greatly among the elderly: 60-70%. Among young people, at home consumption of fresh vegetables and fruits declined gradually: 25%, 70% respectively over the same period. Extrapolating the trends of consumption by age groups from the early 1980s to the middle of 1990s, demand was forecast for the year of 2010 considering the age composition of future society. The demand at home of rice and fresh fish is estimated to decline greatly (approximately 40%, 10% respectively), while that of fresh meats (5% and fresh milk (30%)) is estimated to increase in 2010. The demand at home of fresh vegetables (5%) and fresh fruits (10%) will decrease. These findings may suggest that Japanese people will continue to move in diet toward the western nations in the future.
There could be three major factors for farm organization; marketing, productivity, community factor. Focusing on the community factor, this paper analyzes the relationship between the large-scale corporate farming, formed by increasing land leasing in Hokuriku lowland region, and its rural society. In this region, however, as the numbers of farm household tends to decline, the retirement from managing regional resources or at least the reduction of their consciousness to the regional agriculture also become wide-spread. The management of large-scale farming faces a sense of crisis to this trend of fading regional corporation, thereafter, farming is urged to take an active role in reconstruction of regional agriculture. As a solution, for example, Sakatani Farm in Toyama tries to establish a close connection with another type farm entities, such as hamlet based group-farming, in the same rural area. From the view of the regional policy, value sharing, economic or non-economic, with each other is a critical element for such attempts to be successful. Further, for the value sharing to be possible, the regional farming needs to be mixed, diversified, and networked with other industries. These new movements viewed as a structural change within the region suggested that structural policy must be enfold regional policy, particularly in the new “Agricultural Basic Low”.
Paddy farms have been influenced by fluctuation of the rice price. In this paper we focus on recent trends of large-scale paddy farming in Ishikawa Prefecture, and we would like to examine the influences which vary with scale and administrative behaviors. Then we hope to make clear the availability of the Farm Income Stabilization System. The results are as follows. (1) A fall in the rice price has influences upon farms of 5-10ha class particularly. It does upon farms from 10ha up too. But they improve the endurance of their farm management by some reforms. (2) Contents of their reforms are introducing direct seeding rice cultivation system, marketing, processing and so on. So they realize upscale, cost cuts and progress of value added and profitability. (3) Administrative behaviors of advanced farmers are various kinds of their ideas, the current of the time and social environment. Farseeing intelligence on decision making and efforts to translate their plans into practice maintain their farm management growth. (4) Present Farm Income Stabilization System is useless for the advanced farms. It is nacessary to improve it. (5) It is likely that we can pick out cases such as Ru Farm and To Farm as some models of the paddy farming in the beginning of 21 century. We need to come to grips with practical studies to support them.
By The New Rice Policies, Rice Price Stabilization Policy is turned to Stabilization of rice producer's incom Ststem. And By The New promotion of Land-Extensive Paddy Agriculuture Policy is turned from Adjustments for Rice Production to Paddy Agriculuture Management under Farm's incom Stabilization Ststem, The New Land-Extensive Paddy Agriculuture Policies consist of three major element: (1) the Program of promotion of Land-Extensive Paddy Agriculuture Paddy Agriculuture, (2) Planed Rice Production based on ddmand, (3) Earnest Production of wheat, soybean, feed in paddy. By this policy, the Rice Farming Incom Stabilization is expanded, and the incom of the wheat and soybean producing in Paddy is expected to keep balance with the incom of rice. For achieving The New Land-Extensive Paddy Agriculuture Policies, there are some problems to solve. They are the foresting of and Land-Extensive Paddy Agriculuture Management Bodies, The restructing of agricultural in rural areas, marketing of rice, wheat, and soybean. For solving, Agricultural cooperatives should carry out by nucleas these problems.
The subject of this paper is to make clear the present situation of hilly and mountainous areas, the less favoured areas in Japanese agriculture, and also the problems of the new policy applied to those areas. The conclusion is as follows. 1. In the hilly and mountainous areas, especially in and around the Western Japan there are brought about such problems as depopulated areas, ruined agricultural lands and difficulties in maintaining communities. 2. In order to deal politically with these problems the following three requirements should be satisfied. (1) Formation of new conditions for settlement which can correspond to the inclination of natural decrease of population. (2) Compensation for and improvement of the unfavorable conditions which have been proved as the price policy is weakened. (3) Flexible measures responding to regional varieties. Looking back on the past policies for the hilly and mountainous areas, cares were not paid enough. But the reflection on these problems resulted in the establishment of the new basic law on food, agriculture and rural areas and there will be into effect in this chance the direct payments to hilly and mountainous areas. 3. This system of direct payments, as one of the policies of Japanese style, has the following three features: (1) In the operation of the system village communities are regarded as important. (2) The target farmers are not selected. (3) Discretions and judgments of local governments are respected. 4. Although we should estimate these policies as epoch making, there are also problems. So comprehensive measures, therefore, are required for the hilly and mountainous areas in addition to the direct payments.
The contemporaly society brought various difficulties to the rural society, while at the same time it trained condition which develop the rural society into the next time. We can point out as recent major changes of situation a national standardization on a way of life, developing on equipment of social infrastructure, a civilization of people's behavior in the rural society, a deadlock on the city civlization, and the upgarade of revaluation on the rural civilization, which have appeared during the period of the high growth of the Japanese economy. The agriculture and the rural society are suffered in the new environment and condition of heavy globalization, and now the building of social support policy for the suffering is an important problem. But moreover we must conceive the regional vision towards 21st century as the building and enrichment of “the rural civil society”, premising a somewhat strong potential of rural people who live and act as contemporaly citizens.