One other sticking point in the process of coming into posession of a farming licence was whether a citizen of another country could rent farm land in Japan. I seem to be the first one to have done so, at least in this prefecture.
I called the town office today for clarification of their findings. It seems that it's alright for me to rent land. I was also advised to have my paperwork in line by the middle of April . That is actually much more time than I thought I had.