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Reforming Agriculture and Promoting Japan's Integration in the World Economy

Author

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  • Randall S. Jones

    (OECD)

  • Shingo Kimura

    (OECD)

Abstract

The problems of Japanese agriculture – in particular low productivity and the prevalence of part-time farmers and small plots have been evident for the past 50 years. The high level and distortionary nature of agriculture support imposes burdens on consumers and taxpayers, undermines the dynamism of the farming sector and complicates Japan’s participation in comprehensive bilateral and regional trade agreements that would boost its growth potential. The priority is to shift to measures decoupled from production and gradually reduce border measures. Continued failure to implement necessary reforms threatens the future of the agricultural sector. In the absence of fundamental reform, the Japanese agriculture will continue to wither, trapped in a cycle of low productivity, low earnings and dependence on subsidies and import protection. The time for reform is now. A more open and market-oriented sector would also facilitate participation in comprehensive regional and bilateral trade agreements. Réformer l'agriculture et promouvoir l'intégration du Japon dans l'économie mondiale Les problèmes de l’agriculture japonaise – en particulier la faiblesse de la productivité, la forte proportion d’agriculteurs exerçant cette activité à temps partiel et le nombre élevé de petites exploitations – sont bien connus depuis une cinquantaine d’années. Les aides considérables dont bénéficie l’agriculture entraînent des distorsions, et pèsent ainsi lourdement sur le consommateur et sur le contribuable ; cela nuit au dynamisme du secteur agricole et empêche le Japon de s’engager dans des accords commerciaux globaux, de portée bilatérale ou régionale, qui renforceraient son potentiel de croissance. Il faut en priorité prendre des mesures découplées de la production, et réduire progressivement les obstacles aux importations. L’incapacité persistante à mettre en oeuvre les réformes nécessaires menace l’avenir du secteur. Si le pays ne procède pas à une restructuration en profondeur de son agriculture, celle-ci poursuivra son déclin, prise au piège dans un cercle vicieux : productivité médiocre, revenus faibles et forte dépendance aux subventions et aux mesures de protection à l’encontre des importations. L’heure de la réforme a sonné. Un secteur plus ouvert et davantage axé sur le marché faciliterait en outre la participation du Japon à des accords commerciaux d'envergure, tant régionaux que bilatéraux.

Suggested Citation

  • Randall S. Jones & Shingo Kimura, 2013. "Reforming Agriculture and Promoting Japan's Integration in the World Economy," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 1053, OECD Publishing.
  • Handle: RePEc:oec:ecoaaa:1053-en
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    File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1787/5k46957l0rf4-en
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    Cited by:

    1. Jarosz-Angowska, Aneta & Kąkol, Magdalena, 2016. "Comparative Analysis of Support to Agriculture in the QUAD Countries in 1986-2014," Problems of World Agriculture / Problemy Rolnictwa Åšwiatowego, WydziaÅ‚ Nauk Ekonomicznych, Uniwersytet Warszawski, vol. 16(31).

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Abenomics; agricultural reform; agricultural subsidies; autosuffisance alimentaire; decoupling; découplage; economic partnership agreements; estimation du soutien aux producteurs; farm consolidation; farm size; food security; food self-sufficiency; Japan; Japon; multifonctionnalité; multifunctionality; Partenariat transpacifique; Producer Support Estimate; production adjustment programme; programme d’ajustement de la production; remembrement des exploitations; rice; riz; réforme agricole; subventions agricoles; sécurité alimentaire; taille des exploitations; Trans-Pacific Partnership;

    JEL classification:

    • Q15 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Land Ownership and Tenure; Land Reform; Land Use; Irrigation; Agriculture and Environment
    • Q17 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Agriculture in International Trade
    • Q18 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Agricultural Policy; Food Policy

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