TOKYO, JAPAN — Japan plans to make a concerted effort to reduce its reliance on imported agricultural products in the coming years, NHK World Japan reported on Dec. 20.

In a draft government proposal obtained by NHK, Japan, which is among the world’s largest grain importers, said it was necessary to boost domestic output of agricultural products and fertilizers to improve the country’s food security.

The proposal calls for a 9% expansion of wheat acreage and a 16% increase in soybean area by 2030, according to NHK. The government said in the proposal that it would provide help in converting rice paddies to fields and assist with investment in grain and soybean storage and processing facilities to achieve this goal.

The proposal also calls for a 20% reduction in the use of chemical fertilizers in the same timeframe, according to NHK.
 The NHK report said the government plans to finalize the details of the proposal at a Dec. 27 meeting.

Due to the Russia-Ukraine war and extreme weather in key production areas around the world, global grain and oilseed prices have risen dramatically in recent months, putting a strain on countries that rely on imports.

Japan is forecast to be the world’s seventh-largest importer of soybeans (3.33 million tonnes) in marketing year 2022-23 and is projected to be No. 9 in wheat imports (5.5 million tonnes), according to the Foreign Agricultural Service of the US Department of Agriculture.