(Asahi: November 25, 2015 – p. 7)
The government will aim to increase Japan’s exports of food and agricultural produce to 1 trillion yen ahead of the initially scheduled target of 2020, sources close to the matter revealed on November 24.
This change will be incorporated into policy guidelines that the government will announce on November 25 as part of measures to better deal with the Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade pact.
The guidelines are aimed at bolstering the country’s agricultural competitiveness through the development of human resources, expansion of output, and reduction of costs. The government will purchase domestic rice equivalent to the amount of new foreign rice imports as stockpiles to stem a decline in rice prices. Along with the increase in the government’s rice procurement, the rice stockpiling period will be cut to around three years from the existing five years.
The guidelines will also include support to smaller businesses looking to go global. The government will help more than 60% of them develop markets and expand operations overseas.
The government will earmark funds for policies that need to be implemented early in supplementary budgets for fiscal 2015. The remaining policies will be funded through fiscal 2016 budgets and beyond.