Structure of Agricultural Protection
Throughout the period of postwar economic growth, agricultural policies in Japan have become dominated by consideration of how to adjust agriculture to rapid economic development. The problem of reallocating labour from the farm to the non-farm sector at a sufficiently rapid pace to maintain intersectoral income parity has been especially severe in Japan, because comparative advantage has shifted away from agriculture relative to other industrial countries owing to unbalanced and rapid growth in industrial productivity. If the adjustment were left to the market mechanism, its cost would have had to be shouldered mainly by agricultural producers. To combat the situation, farmers have organized political lobbying for agricultural protection as a means to pass on a part of the adjustment cost to the general public. Their demand, when coupled with declining countervailing power from the side of the non-farm population, has resulted in a level of agricultural protection among the highest in the world, as observed in Chapter 1 (Table 1.2, p. 6).
KeywordsSugar Starch Corn Income Shrinkage
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