September 16, 2019
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 In Food Instability and Political Crises

Country: Japan
Delegate Name: Ema Bekic

UN Development Program
Food Insecurity and Political Crises
Japan
Ema Bekic, Forest Hills Northern High School

Food insecurity is a global problem affecting 30% of the world’s population. In Japan, a country with a population of 125 million, 3.2% is malnourished. The early 2020s brought global climate, health, and political issues, causing a global food crisis. From 2019 till the end of 2021, food insecurity increased by 4.5% (350 million).

In 2022, The Global Food Security Index ranked Japan as the 6th most food-secure nation in the world and the most food-secure country in Asia. However, Japan heavily relies on food imports causing them to have one of the lowest food self-sufficiency rates among the major countries. However, recent events exposed the fragility of Japan’s food security. Imports depend on external factors, like transportation, production in the exporting country, food safety, and cost. COVID affected food imports by causing delayed, decreased, and more expensive shipments, resulting in food price increases. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine triggered a global food crisis as both countries are essential fertilizers and grain exporters – Russia and Ukraine together supplied about 30% of the world’s wheat and barley before the war. Political tensions between Taipei and Beijing threaten to escalate into a military conflict in the Taiwan Strait, which would disrupt the vital shipping routes of food to Japan and cause profound food instability.

Japan supports the UN’s Sustainable Development Goal 2: Zero Hunger from 2015, proclaiming to create a world free of hunger by 2030. In response to UN Resolution 47/24 about the effects of Climate change, in 2021, Japan endorsed the National Plan for Adaptation to the Impacts of Climate change, intending to develop new technologies and plant strains to survive climatic changes. In 2022, Japan authorized the New Capitalism Program, with a section devoted to renewing the agricultural industry. In collaboration with the World Food Program, Japan approved financial assistance to countries facing food shortages to ensure global food security.

While recognizing the importance of further promotion of global trade, Japan firmly believes that national food security should be strengthened by maintaining domestic productivity. Japan recommends agriculture reshaping through the recovery of unused farmland, crop diversification, investment in technological innovation, and incentives to empower farmers, expressing its hope that other countries may follow this pattern. To further affirm domestic productivity, Japan will decrease domestic product prices and increase imported food prices. Japan has already developed salt-resistant rice that allows rice to be planted and harvested in land otherwise affected by flooding. Japan recommends that other coastal countries should introduce and fund similar research in order to grow more food year-round. Japan recommends setting targets and developing standardized protocols for measuring and monitoring domestic productivity and accelerating and supporting collaborative initiatives that bring together government, nongovernmental organizations, and private businesses to help achieve the goals.

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