October 12, 2020
Japan plans new bureau to boost agri-food exports
Japan plans to set up a new bureau next year to significantly increase the country's exports of agricultural products, farm minister Kotaro Nogami announced at a recent press conference as part of restructuring of the ministry to take effect in the next fiscal year starting April 2021, Japan Today reported.
The tentatively-named Export and International Bureau at the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, Japan aims to raise farm exports to 5 trillion yen (US$47 billion) by 2030 from 912.1 billion yen in 2019.
Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga is emphasising farm exports as a means to revitalise regional economies.
The new bureau will be formed by bringing together the International Affairs Department under the minister's Secretariat and export-related divisions of the Food Industry Affairs Bureau.
In addition, the ministry plans to elevate the Livestock Industry Department under the Agricultural Production Bureau to the Livestock Industry Bureau so as to better support beef producers in expanding production infrastructure.
Japan's beef exports have grown significantly from 3.4 billion yen in 2010 to 24.7 billion yen in 2018, said to be driven by the rising popularity of wagyu beef overseas.
Top buyers of Japanese farm exports include Hong Kong, South Korea, China and the United States.