Water Resources in Relation to Major Agro-Environmental Issues in Japan Water Resources in Relation to Major Agro-Environmental Issues in Japan
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Although Japan is well known as an industrialized country rather than an agricultural one, agriculture is treated as a very important sector from cultural and environmental perspectives. Only 15% of Japan's land is suitable for cultivation, but the agricultural economy is highly subsidized and protected. With per unit area crop yields among the highest in the world, the agriculture sector still dominates the major part of water use (65%) in Japan followed by domestic and industrial uses (20% and 15%, respectively). Like many other monsoon Asian countries, rice is the staple food in Japan, and paddy fields and terraces are often referred to as the country's cultural and environmental indicators. This paper outlines the conditions of water resources and their relations to some major agro-environmental issues in Japan as well as focuses on a case study research related to soil erosion in the southernmost part (Okinawa Island) of the country. The case study results show that if farmland soil is mixed with the plant residues and treated for 3 to 4 months under natural conditions, the hydraulic conductivity of the soil can be improved and eventually reduce the amount of soil erosion.
- Journal of Developments in Sustainable Agriculture
Journal of Developments in Sustainable Agriculture 2(1), 27-34, 2007
Agricultural and Forestry Research Center, University of Tsukuba