Russian missiles pounding Ukraine have spooked Japan into boosting defense spending. Now, with tensions rising over the Taiwan Strait, calls are growing to address another security threat: shriveling rice paddies.

For decades, Japanese consumers have been eating less rice and fish in favor of more bread, meat and edible oil, leading the country’s calorie-based food self-sufficiency ratio to slump to 37% in 2020 from 73% in 1965 — the lowest among major economies.

Toshiyuki Ito, retired vice admiral for the Maritime Self-Defense Force, said the government’s abandonment of rice paddies and other agricultural land is leaving the country more vulnerable than ever.