This article looks at Japan's self sufficiency from yet another angle, providing more perspective on the issue. Basically, "Yes Japan says it produces only 40% of its food supply, but at the same time it is exporting more agricultural product than it did a year ago, and plans to increase it in coming years."
The 40% number is a straw man, and I wonder who's interests it serves. One talking head posits, ''The agriculture industry's potential has been underestimated,'' he said. ''I suspect that the ministry is trying to maintain its reason for existing under the banner of protecting poor farmers.'' My guess is that this argument would also scare the populace into fearing for the other 60%, and approve vast quantities of imports, which would appease some politicians' Washington DC, and agribusiness handlers.
Also, as I have written before, this 40% isn't even close if imported petroleum consumption is factored in. We'd need two Japans worth of land if it were.
FOCUS: Experts have second thoughts on Japan's falling food supply capacity