Tokyo, Sept. 22 (Jiji Press)–The Japanese government will take every possible step to achieve its goal of raising the country’s annual exports of farm and food products by over fivefold to 5 trillion yen in 2030, new agriculture minister Kotaro Nogami said.
“Exports are one of our strategies aimed at increasing farmers’ income at a time when the domestic food market is shrinking,” Nogami said in an interview on Friday, two days after he was appointed to the post.
The agriculture ministry will work on beefing up the country’s capability to produce wagyu Japanese beef, apples and green tea for exports, he said.
Measures to help continue these exports amid the coronavirus pandemic will be taken, Nogami said.
He also said it is important for the country to expand rice exports to maintain its domestic production.
“Therefore, we need to explore overseas markets by examining the needs of each country and region and increase production of rice for exports,” Nogami said.
“We’ll also ask countries such as China to ease import restrictions” on Japanese rice, he said.
Nogami said it is important to promote the digitization of the agriculture sector to “address its labor shortages and make it a growth sector.”
“We’re deploying smart agriculture, making administrative procedures available online and providing information to farmers using smartphone apps,” he said.