Diet member Shinjiro Koizumi faced a dilemma when a group of farmers angry over the government's trade policy and aware of his dislike of tomatoes handed him a bag of them to try.

"Actually, I don't like raw tomatoes but I'm trying to overcome this," said the son of former Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi at the meeting in the city of Kasai, Hyogo Prefecture. "But I'll try them later, and let you know what I think." For the farmers present it was an important moment of honesty.

Getting the agricultural community on board is the first big political test for the 34 year-old who has spent most of his six years as a Liberal Democratic Party lawmaker in low-key roles, focused on recovery work after the 2011 tsunami that devastated northeastern Japan. Now he is being mooted as a potential future leader.