In previous chapters we established several criteria to assess productivity in contemporary Japanese agriculture. It appeared that in international perspective the level and growth rate of productivity has been lagging behind in recent decades. Here we sum up the main findings first. In Chapter Two it was shown that Japan is the only industrial country where labour productivity in agriculture grows slower than in industry. This is even the case in the period 1975-85 when labour productivity growth in industry slowed down considerably. In Chapter Three it appeared from an estimated intercountry functional relationship that Japan’s agricultural labour productivity falls short of its predicted level. In real terms Japan’s agricultural productivity is far behind other industrial countries and resembles more the level in Newly Industrializing Economies. An indepth comparative analysis of agricultural development in Japan and the Netherlands in Chapter Four shows that productivity growth in Japan’s agriculture in recent decades is comparatively poor and that the gap with the Netherlands increased. In the comparison in Chapter Five of real output and productivity in Japan, the Netherlands, Taiwan, and the USA, it was found that Japanese net value added at US and Dutch prices turns negative in 1980 and 1984, and that in 1980 at US prices even gross value added was negative. This means that from an international perspective Japan’s agriculture provides a negative contribution to real national income. Sub-sectoral analysis showed that not only the arable crops sector, which includes rice, but also the livestock and horticultural sectors lag far behind the Dutch level and that the gap has increased since 1975. And last but not least, despite a much lower general level of economic development in Taiwan, agriculture in Taiwan has a higher real labour productivity than in Japan. At the same time indicators show that Japan’s level of agricultural protection is among the highest in the world and much higher than that of most other industrial countries (FAO 1986:26), even before the strong appreciation of the yen in the mid-1980s. This contrast of high prices and low productivity

performance is consistent with our inverse U-shape hypothesis as explained in Chapter Two.