Japan’s food self-sufficiency rate in fiscal 2012 remained at 39 % on a calorific input basis for the third consecutive year, the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries announced Thursday, August 8. Although rice consumption dropped amid higher prices, the self-sufficiency rate maintained its level, as consumption of Japanese-grown wheat and soybean grew thanks to increased amount of harvested crop, the ministry reported. 

Young Japanese are fleeing the urban jungle for the half-abandoned countryside on a mission to make farming cool again and cut Japan's frightening food deficit in the process. Organic farming converts, rice-growing Tokyo fashionistas and other young greenfingers have trickled back into rural Japan where many farm towns have been slowly dying amid fast-greying Japan's demographic crunch.