• Short Summary

    Japan is facing a severe shortage of one of its most important foodstuff - the soybean.

  • Description

    Japan is facing a severe shortage of one of its most important foodstuff - the soybean.

    With the decision by the United States to monitor its exports of soybeans because of its own shortage of supplies, it leaves Japan facing a potential crisis. For several years now, Japan has leaned heavily on the United States for its soybeans...domestic soybean production amounts to only three per-cent of the national requirement, and they're three times the price of the United States product.

    Even though Japanese importers have begun stockpiling soybeans in their Tokyo Bay Warehouses, the Japanese Agricultural ministry has predicted that there will be a shortage of about ten thousand tons of soybeans by the end of October - even though the United States export-control programme ends on September 15.

    In the meantime, soybean production continues in Japan, finding its way into shops and restaurants throughout the country. The Japanese Government has also announced legislation to ban market-cornering and hoarding of soybeans, soybean oil and soybean meal to stop any further price increase being passed onto the public.

    SYNOPSIS: At Tokyo Bay's busy warehouses, Japanese importers have begun stockpiling one of the nation's most important foods...soybean. They're doing it in case there's a sudden shortage from the United States, which at the moment is Japan's biggest supplier of soybean, but which has come face to face with its own soybean shortage.

    President Nixon has imposed strict monitoring regulations to control the flow of United States soybeans, and with Japan only producing three per-cent of its soybean requirement, the Agricultural Ministry in Tokyo has predicted the country will suffer a shortage of about ten thousand tons by the end of October, even though the United States embargoes end in mid-September when a new crop becomes available.

    It's a major domestic-problem. The soybean is a traditional staple food of the country, and as a very nutritious foodstuff, it appears on the Japanese dining table in many shapes and forms. It's also used throughout the country as an added and often essential ingredient in food preparation. Even in the light of a possible shortage of soybeans, the demand for it continues, and Japan's Government is taking steps to prevent hoarding, and to keep its price down to an acceptable level.

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    Reuters - Source to be Verified
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