Yoshikawa Miho of Reuters has an excellent article out on the insanity of rice agriculture policy. You cannot imagine a more ridiculous and counterproductive (literally) way of managing land.
Rice subsidies and acreage limits are classic examples of "after the next election" problems. Everyone knows the current policy is nuts; everyone with a brain knows the current policy cannot drag on indefinitely. But no one can do anything until "after the next election." Except, of course, there is always a next election, even immediately after you hold one.
So bad policies live on - making a mockery of both democracy and the nation's patient citizens.