Japan's farm minister stresses need to protect domestic agriculture.GOLD COAST, Australia, Aug. 20 Kyodo
Japanese farm minister Mineichi Iwanaga Third Realigned Junichiro Koizumi>Koizumi Cabinet
Secretary Shinzo Abe
Internal Affairs Heizo Takenaka
Justice Seiken Sugiura
Foreign Affairs Taro Aso
Finance Sadakazu Tanigaki
Education Kenji Kosaka
Health Jiro Kawasaki said Saturday countries with low self-sufficiency in food, like Japan, need to protect domestic agriculture as it is uncertain whether supply from overseas will be stable.
Delivering a keynote speech on food supply-demand outlooks, Iwanaga made the appeal on the second day of a three-day meeting of farm ministers from Australia, Canada, Japan, the United States and the European Union.
Iwanaga pointed out there are many unstable factors in global farm production over the medium and long term, including desertification desertification
Spread of a desert environment into arid or semiarid regions, caused by climatic changes, human influence, or both. Climatic factors include periods of temporary but severe drought and long-term climatic changes toward dryness. and global warming.
If such factors actually emerge amid the expected rise in global population, the possibility of shortages of farm products cannot be ruled out, he said.
It is important for Japan and other farm product importers to secure a stable food supply, Iwanaga said.
In addition to food supply-demand outlooks, the ministers discussed agricultural trade ahead of the ministerial meeting of the World Trade Organization in Hong Kong in December.
The Hong Kong meeting is seen as a key to successfully concluding the current Doha Round of global trade talks in 2006 as scheduled. The global trade talks have been stalled due partly to the impasse over farm trade liberalization lib·er·al·ize
v. lib·er·al·ized, lib·er·al·iz·ing, lib·er·al·iz·es
To make liberal or more liberal: "Our standards of private conduct have been greatly liberalized . . . .