|USA Rice Hosts Japanese Government Visitors|
A delegation from Japan's Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF) and Japan's embassy in Washington visited USA Rice Federation to review rice trade issues. The MAFF visitors are members of the Staple Food Department, which is the sole legal importer of rice in Japan. MAFF officials regularly visit USA Rice to review Japan's rice import situation. Today's meeting was the first for Mr. Hiroyuki Nishiura, who will lead future MAFF delegations to USA Rice.
The delegation thanked the U.S. rice industry for its factual reporting of the earthquake and tsunami that devastated Japan in early March as well as the relief efforts provided. Although there will be a reduction in rice production this year in Japan, MAFF officials reported that the tsunami-damaged rice fields may recover as early as next year.
Additionally, the two sides discussed the rice tender schedule for Japan's 2011 fiscal year (April 2011 - March 2012), the current supply and demand situation for rice in the United States, and the upcoming annual 2011 U.S.-Japan Rice Technical Meeting to be held in Tokyo Aug. 3.