SDHF Newsletter No.278 Counting the Blessing of Whales No.3
Counting the Blessing of Whales:
Insights from a Chopsticks-Wielding Patriot
Series No.3: Chapter 2 Whales Help the Japanese Once Again
June 3, 2020
Japan’s food self-sufficiency rate is critical. In 2009, it dropped to 41% and is currently at this rate. It may further drop to less than 20%, unless effective measures are taken.
For the UK it was 46% in 1970 but since then it has improved to 70%. For Germany the food self- sufficiency rate was 68% and is currently at 84%.
It is very dangerous to expect that critical food imports are guaranteed. In 2000, Australia’s food self-sufficiency rate was 280%. Three years later, it fell to 237%, a nearly 50% decrease.
Japan once faced a sudden, large decrease in cheese imports. The reason for this was that China began importing vast amounts of cheese and consequently Japan was left with almost nothing.
Safety and security of our agricultural products and seafood cannot be guaranteed if we continue to depend on imports from foreign countries. A few years ago, a large quantity of vegetables imported from a certain country was found to have been contaminated with an agrochemical that is unregistered in Japan. Accordingly, Japan notified the exporter and Japan was told that it would stop exporting to Japan. In this way, food exports to Japan stopped.
Since food is essential to sustain our life, increasing food self-sufficiency should be the first national priority.
The author emphasizes that whales still has a very big role in increasing the food self-sufficiency rate for Japan. As mentioned in Series 2, whales accounted for 70% of the total animal protein supply for Japan 50 years ago, when Japan’s food self-efficiency rate was 70%.
Questions are welcome.
MOTEKI Hiromichi, Acting Chairman
for KASE Hideaki, Chairman
Society for the Dissemination of Historical Fact