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Japan's rice farms rotting from inside despite protectionism

Some older rice farmers blame subsidy system for a now stagnant sector

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Tokyo has for decades stabilised prices by controlling supply and penalising over-production to protect farmers from volatile markets.

Ryugasaki, Japan

SHUICHI Yokota may be the future of Japan's struggling rice industry. The 38-year-old is about half the age of most growers and he relies on cutting-edge technology to cultivate vast paddy fields that eclipse the bulk of the country's rice plots.

And Mr Yokota