1st Edition

Japan's Agricultural Policy Regime

By Aurelia George Mulgan Copyright 2006

    Written by the world’s leading expert in the field, this book examines the evolution of Japanese agricultural policy in the post-war period, focusing particularly from the 1970s onwards when both domestic and external pressures for reform began to intensify.

    The author explains how the MAFF has safeguarded their institutional capacity to intervene by accommodating both public interest in agricultural policy reform alongside the interests of government in maintaining agricultural support and protection. The book provides a major reinterpretation of agricultural policy, examining how the MAFF’s role as an ‘intervention maximiser’ has been redefined in the face of continued bureaucratic involvement. Making available in English for the first time Japanese policy changes in the post-war period, the book will appeal to political economy specialists and political scientists, and those with an interest in Japanese politics and bureaucratic institutions.

    1 Introduction  Bureaucratic Dependencies and Strategies of Intervention-Maximising  Maximising MAFF Intervention in the Process of Agricultural Policy Reform  2 The Agricultural Policy Regime in Historical Perspective  Maximising Ministry Intervention within Constraints  Maximising Ministry Intervention in Historical Perspective  The Agricultural Basic Law  Incremental Liberalisation of Food Control  Agricultural and Rural Public Works  Conclusion  3 Agricultural Policies From the Late 1970s to the Late 1980s  Antipathetic Trends in the Agricultural Policy Environment  Fiscal Pressures on the Food Control System  Appreciation of the Yen  The Maekawa and Other Reports  Pressures for Agricultural Trade Liberalisation  The MAFF's Policy Response  Deregulating the Food Control System and Cutting Costs  De-Emphasising Price Supports and Fostering Core Farmers  Embracing Internationalisation   Further Reductions in Price Support  Agricultural Trade Liberalisation  Conclusion  4 Agricultural Policies from the late 1980s to the late 1990s  The MAFF’s Policy Response  Reforming the Food Control System  The New Policies  Rejecting Rice Tariffication at the GATT  The Uruguay Round Agreement on Agriculture  The URAA Countermeasures Package  Agricultural Support and Stabilisation Price Trends  The New Food Law  The New Rice Policy  Agricultural trade liberalisation and APEC  Conclusion  5 Agricultural Policies from the Late 1990s  The MAFF’s Policy Response  Early Rice Tariffication  New Rice Production Control Measures  Preparing for the New Basic Law  The New Basic Law  Evaluating the New Basic Law  Applying the New Basic Law   i) Securing Stable Supplies of Food  ii) Market Determination of Agricultural Prices  iii) Direct Payments to Disadvantaged Areas  v) Agricultural Trade Policy   The Basic Plan  The Drive for Efficiency and Accountability in Subsidised Works Expenditure  Direct Income Supplementation  The ‘Takebe Private Plan’  Invoking Import Safeguards  The BSE Scandal  Structural Reform Special Zones  The Rice Policy Reform Outline  WTO Agricultural Trade Policy  Bilateral Free Trade Agreements (FTAs)  The Entry of Ordinary Jointstock Companies into Farming  The New Basic Plan  Conclusion


    Aurelia George Mulgan is Associate Professor of Politics at the University of New South Wales, Australian Defence Force Academy, Australia. She has published widely in the area of Japanese politics and is the author of The Politics of Agriculture in Japan (Routledge, 2000), Japan’s Failed Revolution: Koizumi and the politics of economic reform (2002) and Japan’s Interventionist State (Routledge, 2005).

    "This book conveys a useful understanding of bureaucratic behavior in agricultural policy.  It offers many concrete examples of case studies and also illustrates very interesting divisions between MAFF and LDP or farmers, and within th eministry istelf when MAFF tries to accommodate both special and public interests." --  Journal of Japanese Studies