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New Basic Plan and Policy Review on Securing Stable Food Supply and Food Security in Japan (Final: Establishment of a comprehensive approach to food security incorporating risk management)
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Fumihiro Kabuta, Ph.D.

Professor, National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies (GRIPS), Japan


III. Establishment of a comprehensive approach to food security incorporating risk management

  1. In the Basic Law on Food, Agriculture, and Rural Areas, the approach to securing a stable food supply for the public is based on boosting agricultural production, combined with an appropriate level of importing and stockpiling.  It also stipulates that there is a need to ensure the bare minimum supply of food can be secured even if emergency situations such as crop failure or cessation of imports occur.
  2. Meanwhile, a wide range of risks to the stability of Japan’s food supply is becoming increasingly evident, including rising global food demand due to population growth and declining production volumes due to climate change. There are also concerns about tightening of food supply over the medium to long term. In addition, there are temporary and short-term risks from natural disasters, obstacles to transport, and so forth. To address these potential risky situations, it was decided to prepare for emergencies and analyze and evaluate the impact of various risks on a regular basis, as well as designate specific emergency-situations’ operating procedures and share information with relevant parties. Also, the most recent Basic Plan calls for deliberation on and implementation of measures, based on analysis and evaluation, to minimize the impact of risks on the stability of food supply. It could be said that the introduction of a clearly defined risk management approach, entailing risk analysis, evaluation, and countermeasures, with the goal of establishing a comprehensive approach to ensuring food security, is a defining characteristic of the new Basic Plan.
  3. In specific terms, measures to be implemented on an ongoing basis to address food supply risks include identifying risks that could potentially impact the supply of key agriculture, forestry, and fisheries products, and analyzing and evaluating the degree of impact, frequency of occurrence, and necessity for countermeasures of each individual risk every year, and publicly releasing the results.
  4. Protocols are in place should an emergency situation impacting the food supply occur, such as a domestic crop failure or major decrease in volume of imports, based on the Food Security Guidelines in Case of Emergency. As it is essential for all relevant parties to take rapid and precisely targeted action within their respective spheres of operation, the Basic Plan calls for these parties to be effectively informed of the specific procedures these Guidelines require of them, and for simulations, etc. to be implemented for various envisioned risks, the effectiveness of these procedures, and reassessment and further revision to be carried out as needed.






Date submitted: Jan. 4, 2016

Reviewed, edited and uploaded: Jan. 4, 2016


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