TOKYO, Sep. 6 ─ Leaders of Central Union of Agricultural Cooperatives (JA-ZENCHU) including new president, Toru Nakaya, met with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on September 6, 2017, at the Prime Minister’s Office. According to Nakaya, who is the first JA-ZENCHU chief elected from the Wakayama union, he explained Abe that the country’s most influential farm group is now making efforts to reform itself, and Abe responded: “Let’s work together.” The meeting was attended by Toshihiro Nikai, secretary-general of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, who represents a district in Wakayama Prefecture.
It was the first meeting for Nakaya and Abe after Nakaya assumed the top post of JA-ZENCHU in August, and the visit was accompanied by the leader of the National Federation of Agricultural Cooperative Associations (ZEN-NOH). After the meeting, Nakaya explained to reporters that he told Abe, “We are working very hard to self-reform the group,” and Abe responded, “Let’s work together. The agriculture is very important. It’s the base of the country.”
However, there was no discussion on individual issues on agricultural policy such as agricultural cooperation reform and rice production adjustment.
Nikai also commented to the reporters, “It was a good meeting. This hopefully makes it easier for the leaders of the farm-sector to visit the prime minister’s office and exchange opinions occasionally when they gather for the meetings of the agricultural cooperatives.”