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Life

Book review: Can Japanese agriculture adapt?

A fascinating insight into the delicate interplay of people, policy and place

Based on a decade of research and extensive fieldwork including interviews with a diverse range of stakeholders, author Hanno Jentzsch looks at a number of trends in post-war Japan agriculture and the impact they have had, not always as intended.

TOKYO -- I once aspired to understand agricultural regulation in Japan. I read some books, even subscribed to Japan Agricultural News, but was only ever able to discern the vague outlines of a system of wealth redistribution based on forcing everyone to overpay for carbohydrates.

Hanno Jentzsch's new book "Harvesting State Support: Institutional Change and Local Agency in Japanese Agriculture," was thus a welcome arrival, as I hoped it would bring more enlightenment than my own efforts.

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