Tokyo: Japan’s agriculture ministry Monday unveiled a plan to consider legislation for emergencies that would allow the government to ask private companies to draw up import and shipment plans for agricultural and livestock products.
In principle, the government would make such requests to facilitate voluntary efforts by the private sector in the event of a food crisis caused by conflicts or poor harvests.
If adequate supplies are not secured, the ministry would give private entities instructions to take effective measures. It would present the total amounts that should be secured and provide financial support to reduce the risk of private-sector losses.
The ministry presented the plan at a meeting of a panel of experts to discuss ways to ensure the country’s food security in emergencies. A report on the issue will be compiled by year-end, and it will be reflected in the envisaged legislation.
As a measure to prevent hoarding, the legislation would call on private entities to adjust the amounts and destinations of their shipments with the government.
The legislation would also allow the government to investigate private-sector stockpiles and inventories, including in peacetime, while taking into account trade secrets held by companies.