Japan is to import 5,000 tonnes of emergency butter supplies from Europe, New Zealand and Aus-tralia, in response to a serious shortage. Bakeries and supermarkets are among businesses that have been experiencing shortages, due to a decrease in milk production following an unusually hot summer. Farmers have been asked to focus all their efforts on increasing milk supplies.

A spokesperson from The Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries said: "The production of raw milk was lower than the target production in April and May. We estimate that butter supply will be about 5,000 tonnes short from autumn to the end of the year."