Francisco Turra, Brazilian minister of agriculture and supply, urged Japan Thursday to further expand its import and distribution of soybeans from his country.

At a Tokyo news conference capping his six-day visit to Japan, Turra said Japanese consumers are now shouldering unnecessary costs by importing soybeans through major U.S. agricultural distributors.

Turra said he delivered this message to representatives from Japanese importers at a meeting during his visit. A purchase commitment could increase crop output in Brazil, because many farmers are suffering from a lack of funds and future business prospects, he said.

Turra came to Japan to offer briefings on ongoing reforms of the Cerrado agricultural development project, in which a number of Japanese government-affiliated bodies and businesses have participated.

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