The agricultural ministers of China, Japan and South Korea signed an agreement last month to work together to improve food security and increase agricultural trade. In an email interview, Roehlano M. Briones, a senior research fellow at the Philippine Institute for Development Studies and research fellow of the Asia Pacific Policy Center, discussed East Asian cooperation on food security.
WPR: What are the major food security priorities for China, Japan and South Korea, respectively?
Roehlano M. Briones: Let me answer this question from the viewpoint of policymakers. For China the major food security priority is to ensure that the population is able to purchase basic food requirements -- wheat and rice especially -- at stable prices. In this sense it is similar to Indonesia and the Philippines, except those countries tend to emphasize rice. For Japan and South Korea, the priority is to protect or perhaps augment current levels of domestic self-sufficiency in the key staple, rice.