The Japanese Farm ministry will raise the wheat price by 18%!
By, Uwe Paschen.
The Japanese government will raise the price for five major brands of imported wheat to be resold to flour milling companies by an average 18 percent starting in April due to rising wheat prices on the international market, so it announced last Wednesday. The Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Ministry said the planned action will bring the average price to 56,710 Yen ($620.00)per ton, which could translate into higher retail prices of bread and other wheat products. The average prices for basic food items in Japan is already one of the highest as is, making this latest price increase challenging for consumers through out the country.In the U.S. for instance a loaf of bread cost around 130 Yen($1.60), where as in Japan that same loaf of bread does cost 360 Yen($4.10). The price difference between Japan and other Industrialized countries can vary to an even greater price difference depending on the product. Apples for instance will cost per unit an average of 130 Yen ($1.40) Where as the same apple will cost only 32 Yen ($0.45) in the U.S.. Japan is overall one of the most expensive countries, even Japanese made products are far cheaper to purchase in North America or Europe then they are here in Japan. Still the difference in the price food items can be dramatic at times.Japan's food self-sufficiency ratio is the lowest of all advanced nations.
Australia is 237%, Canada 145%, USA 128%, France 122%, Germany 84%, England 70%, Italy 62%, Switzerland 49%, South Korea 47%, Japan 39%.
With one exception, being rice, for which Japan’s self-sufficiency is 100% and yet, even this segment of the Japanese agricultural sector is on the brink of collapse. Japan depends on imports for the majority of its food intake. This certainly not because of the climate nor the top soils, Japans climate and soils are most favorable for agricultural production and Japan could easily become a food exporting country and feed all it own people at the same time.The trouble is that the Japanese policy makers have not only neglected the agricultural sector but more over they have sabotaged it in order to force the rural population to work in factories such as Toyota, this mainly to avoid having to allow massive immigration of a foreign labor force to maintain and expand the export boom of the 1960th and 70th that Japan witnessed. Even today the driving force for reforms and changes such as allowing free trade as well as immigration into the country after opposing such so fiercely for decades is in part due to an aging population and an almost extinct rural population caused earlier by an exodus in favor of Japans heavy industry. Rather then reviving its agriculture and insuring that Japan will be able to feed its own people and maybe even be able to export food through out the world, the government is still neglecting the agricultural sector, promoting instead the revival of its industry and building factories in India and the US to insure its marked shares. All the wile creating not only more unemployment at home and increasing the national deficit but also putting into jeopardy an aging population that needs to be taken care of. The most important sector in this day an age of global unrest, food insecurity and climate changes is certainly not the profit margin of Toyota nor that of some stock holders but rather insuring and securing the very basics of life, being food, shelter and peoples health. It is crucial to revive and invest heavily into the agricultural sector again now, since it will take a very long time to get this sector going and to train a new generation of Farmers to produce food efficiently and this with new environmentally sound methods. Certainly Japan is not the only country to find it self in an agricultural crisis. Germany, Italy and many other countries find them self in a similar dilemma. However, Japan is by far in the worth off positions when it comes to its Agricultural sector.
We can not afford to take any further risks here, since far to much is at stake as is.