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As the world was struggling to combat the COVID-19 pandemic, Qu Dongyu, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus and Roberto Azevedo, directors general of the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization, the World Health Organization and the World Trade Organization, respectively, warned in a joint statement March 31 that uncertainty about food availability could spark a wave of export restrictions, creating a shortage on the global market.

That led some people to worry about a possible impact on Japan, a major food importer whose food self-sufficiency rate is below 40 percent.

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