Japan's food self-sufficiency rate at record low

Japan's food self-sufficiency rate in the fiscal year that ended in March was 37 percent, matching the record low marked in fiscal 1993 and 2018.

Japan's agriculture ministry says the food self-sufficiency rate in terms of calorie intake for fiscal 2020 was down one percentage point from the previous year.

The decline is mainly due to a drop in wheat production from a year earlier as well as a fall in the consumption of rice, much of which is produced domestically.

By item, the self-sufficiency rate for rice was 98 percent, vegetables stood at 76 percent, sugar and starches at 36 percent, livestock products at 16 percent and wheat at 15 percent.

The government aims to raise the food self-sufficiency rate to 45 percent by fiscal 2030, but there is still little prospect of achieving the goal.

The ministry says imports of some vegetables and livestock products were down amid the coronavirus pandemic as they are often used by restaurants. The ministry adds that if demand for those products recovers it will work to respond to the situation with domestic goods.

The food-sufficiency rate in terms of production values rose one percentage point from a year earlier to 67 percent. That's mainly due to a decline in imports of seafood, sugar and other products that are often used by the food service industry.