On farming in Japan

This is way more information than most people want or need but I found it really interesting so here you are:

http://www.japantimes.co.jp/life/2016/01/29/food/the-future-of-rice-farming-in-japan/

And for once the comments are actually (mostly) interesting and informative!

And following the links in one of the comments I found this:
http://www.tokyofoundation.org/en/articles/2008/the-issues-in-the-farmland-system

Which is quite dry but contains this paragraph:

“A distortion rooted in economic policy constitutes a further barrier to flexibility in farmland ownership. The inheritance tax deferment system, which is designed to prevent the miniaturization of farms through division into smaller plots, is flawed. The system exempts farmland from inheritance tax providing the land is not sold on for residential or other use for 20 years, but the fact that the deferment is terminated if the land is rented to another farmer discourages the owners of such land from leasing it. The system must be revised by revoking the 20-year privilege and allowing the deferment of inheritance tax to remain in force if the land is leased.”

Which goes a LONG way to explaining why there are so many people happy to lend us land for free but only one prepared to put it on paper. And it’s a catch 22 as the only way we can buy land is to show that we have rented it (or buy some MASSIVE plot but dues to the factors listed in the first article, there are very few massive lots). All very interesting and something I think is going to need to change in the next 10-20 years as the younger generation are just not as into farming as the older people doing it now are.

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