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A field of tea plants with Mt. Fuji in the background.
  1. Land Reform in Postwar Japan
  2. Why Japan's Land Reform Succeeded
  3. Wet Rice Agriculture
  4. Transplanting Rice Seedlings
  5. Early Mechanization of Agriculture
  6. Reorganization of Farm Land
  7. Innovations in Fruit and Vegetable Farming
  8. Rice Rationing and Subsidies
  9. Japan’s Shrinking Farm Population
  10. Farm Household Size and the Problem of Succession
  11. Who Farms in Japanese Farm Households?
  12. San-Chan Nōgyō
  13. The Changing Japanese Diet
  14. Dairy Farming in Japan
  15. What Dairy Products Do Japanese Eat?
  16. Beef Cattle in Japan
  17. The Changing Income of Farm Households
  18. Raising Silkworms in Japan
  19. Food Self-Sufficiency in Japan
  20. Food Self-Sufficiency in Rice
  21. Organic Farming in Japan
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Aerial view of a docked ship unloading imported rice.
During the poor rice crop of 1993, supplies of rice were urgently imported from California.
Photo from Mainichi Shimbun.
Food Self-Sufficiency in Rice
Even in rice, the most symbolically significant item of food self-sufficiency, Japan has become a bit less self-sufficient. A very bad harvest in 1993 forced Japan to import rice on a large scale for the first time. Most of the imported rice was used for processed products, including sake and vinegar. Japanese consumers resisted foreign rice at the dinner table, believing that it had an inferior taste. Special charcoal was sold in stores to be cooked along with the rice to remove the supposed bad taste. Domestic rice production rebounded in 1994, but by the end of the1990s Japan was importing about five percent of its rice from other countries. Japanese consumers still prefer to use only high quality Japanese rice for their meals.
Special Terms: self-sufficiency  |  processed products

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