Financial news agency, June 27 (editor Malan) the yen and cattle are famous all over the world for their soft and tender meat and rich fat. However, with the depreciation of the yen, the cost of imported corn is getting higher and higher, so farmers have to turn to cheaper rice feed, which means the decline of beef quality for farmers who raise and cattle.
A Japanese farmer said that although he was forced to add more rice to his feed, he still played classical music for his cattle to make them quiet and reduce movements to ensure that the beef could be more fresh and tender. However, he pointed out that rice may harm the intestinal bacteria of cattle and damage the quality of beef.
The yen has fallen to a 20-year low this year. The dollar rose to 136.66 against the yen last week, and fell slightly to 135.17 on Friday. At the same time, since the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, after the grain export of Ukraine, the main corn exporter, was blocked, the global corn price has been rising. The wheat futures price of Zhishang exchange, which expires in July, has increased by about 25% compared with the beginning of the year.
In addition to corn, the cost of fuel and fertilizer is also rising, which makes Japanese farmers more anxious, and some people begin to consider withdrawing from agriculture.
Farmers' dissatisfaction threatens the position of the ruling party
The dissatisfaction of Japanese farmers will also have a certain impact on Japan's ruling party, the Liberal Democratic Party.
Farmers are a powerful political force in Japan and have a voice that cannot be ignored in the election. Even the Japanese Agricultural Cooperative (Ja group) itself is a powerful lobbying group.
In the past, the Liberal Democratic Party strongly supported local agriculture and established a variety of agricultural protectionism systems in exchange for the support of Japanese farmers. However, after the incoming Prime Minister Shinzo Abe came to power, the free trade flag and monetary stimulus gradually weakened the competitiveness of local agriculture, and some farmers felt that the Liberal Democratic Party had betrayed them.
After the formation of the government of Fumio Kishida, it is continuing to lead the Liberal Democratic Party on the road of broad currency and free market, which makes more and more farmers angry. Some farmers bluntly pointed out that if they do not provide more help to farmers, "the Liberal Democratic Party will only run into a wall".
In the middle of this year, Japan will usher in the Senate election. For the Liberal Democratic Party, although the current polls show that it is still very likely to win, the key votes from farmers are shifting. Inflation and the depreciation of the yen will make it lose a large number of key rural votes and weaken the control of Kishida over the Liberal Democratic Party.
In contrast, more farmers tend to choose the candidate of the opposition party - Yasue funayama of the Democratic Party, who supports Japan to establish a minimum income guarantee system for farmers like Europe.
Kazuhito Yamashita, a former Ministry of agriculture official and current research director of Canon Global Research Institute, said that in order to win back rural voters, the Liberal Democratic Party needs to provide more services to farmers.
However, 41% of the annual income of Japanese farmers comes from government subsidies, which is more than twice the average of OECD countries. From 2018 to 2020, Japanese farmers priced agricultural products 60% higher than the international market. Some experts in Japan also said that in the aging Japanese society, it is no longer realistic to continue to vigorously support agriculture.
The Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) is now suffering from both internal and external enemies. It can not be an enemy of the farm lobby, but also adhere to the policy of liberalizing the currency to stimulate the economy, while taking into account the responsibility of not letting inflation worsen.
The election of the Japanese Senate began on June 22 and lasted for 18 days until July 10. A total of 15 political groups competed for 125 seats - 124 seats were re elected, plus one seat by election, a total of 545 people participated in the election. Kishida previously said that the ruling parties (Liberal Democratic Party and Komeito party) need to obtain 56 of the 125 seats in this election to establish a majority advantage.