Japan has undergone dramatic economic and social changes since World War II. Concomitantly, the nature and dynamics of food supply and demand and the corresponding food and agricultural policies have also changed. Therefore, this article will briefly introduce how policy has responded to important issues over time by demarcating four periods. Then, focusing on food policy with the basic philosophy of securing a stable food supply as clarified by the Basic Law on Food, Agriculture, and Rural Areas enacted in 1999, this article discusses in detail the policy developments shown in the basic plan, which have been formulated every 5years since 2000. The situation surrounding food and agriculture has changed from the era of remarkable economic growth in Japan, where the disparity in the growth rate of the agricultural sector compared with the nonagricultural sector expanded, and the terms of trade deteriorated caused by yen appreciation while food imports increased sharply. In this context, this article will focus on two new policies: (1) risk management to ensure quantitative stability and (2) new demand expansion, including exports in response to reductions in domestic food demand caused by the declining population.

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