WASHINGTON (B)--Japanese agriculture officials predict that Japan will only be able to meet about 38% of its food needs from domestic production by 2010--down from slightly more than 40% in 1998, according to a U.S. Department of Agriculture attache report dated Feb. 28 and released March 2.

The greatest decline is expected to come in rice production, although Japanese farmers will still be growing about 96% of the rice Japan consumes in 2010.

Domestic meat production between 1998 and 2010 is expected to decline by 1% while consumption will rise by 13%, with domestic meat production expected to account for slightly less than half of all meat eaten in Japan in 2010, down from 56% of meat consumed in 1998.

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