【Research】Changes in Japan’s rice policies: looking back on 15 years since the Principle and Outline of Rice Policy Reform in 2002

January 1st, 2018
Norinchukin Research Institute Co., Ltd.
KOBARI Miwa, Chief Researcher


In November 2017, the Panel of Experts on Staple Food set up in the Council of Food, Agriculture and Rural Area Policies, an advisory body for the Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, approved the “Basic Guidelines to Ensure the Stabilization of Supply-Demand and Price of Rice”, stating that allocation of target production volumes by the administration shall be ceased in the rice production adjustment program from the 2018 crop onward, as well as that rice producers, commercial shippers like agricultural cooperatives and related organizations shall be instead required to play a central role in promoting the demand-oriented production. Many parts of the Guideline are consistent with contents of the policy measures implemented for the 2007 crop in the “Rice Policy Reform”. The whole system of rice policies, however, experienced great changes through repeated reviews of the policy measures during about ten years since 2007. To consider how the rice policies should be carried out in the future, the administration will be required to re-examine the existing entire system of rice policies based on the great changes.

A brief overview of previous changes made in rice policies from a viewpoint of the freedom degree of farmer’s agricultural management tells us that the policies have been shifting from the system of production adjustment, making farmers have a compulsive feeling, led by the national government before the Rice Policy Reform was put into practice, to an opposite policy direction aiming at raising their freedom degree. On the other hand, however, repeated reviews of the rice policies have made it hard for stakeholders to find out not only how the production adjustment has been placed in the entire system of rice policies, but also which direction the adjustment program will proceed in the future. The administration, moreover, will be required to pay careful attention to actual conditions that those changes in the policy measures for rice production have simultaneously made it difficult for producers engaged in land-extensive farming to make a projection for the future of their production or their management decision.


The Government of Japan made a change in its rice policy in the fiscal year of 2018 and ceased to allocate target production volumes from the 2018 crop onward to respective local municipalities in the country.

The latest review of rice policies, which was highlighted with keywords of “demand-oriented production” and “abolition of allocation of target production volumes by…Link reading

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