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Japan's future.

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Japan's hunger becomes a dire warning for other nations

Postby toni » Wed 04.23.2008 2:36 pm

Is this true? Can anyone living in Japan confirm this, or is this just trying to be sensational?

Justin Norrie, Tokyo
April 21, 2008

MARIKO Watanabe admits she could have chosen a better time to take up baking. This week, when the Tokyo housewife visited her local Ito-Yokado supermarket to buy butter to make a cake, she found the shelves bare.

"I went to another supermarket, and then another, and there was no butter at those either. Everywhere I went there were notices saying Japan has run out of butter. I couldn't believe it — this is the first time in my life I've wanted to try baking cakes and I can't get any butter," said the frustrated cook.

Japan's acute butter shortage, which has confounded bakeries, restaurants and now families across the country, is the latest unforeseen result of the global agricultural commodities crisis.

A sharp increase in the cost of imported cattle feed and a decline in milk imports, both of which are typically provided in large part by Australia, have prevented dairy farmers from keeping pace with demand.

While soaring food prices have triggered rioting among the starving millions of the third world, in wealthy Japan they have forced a pampered population to contemplate the shocking possibility of a long-term — perhaps permanent — reduction in the quality and quantity of its food.

A 130% rise in the global cost of wheat in the past year, caused partly by surging demand from China and India and a huge injection of speculative funds into wheat futures, has forced the Government to hit flour millers with three rounds of stiff mark-ups. The latest — a 30% increase this month — has given rise to speculation that Japan, which relies on imports for 90% of its annual wheat consumption, is no longer on the brink of a food crisis, but has fallen off the cliff.

According to one government poll, 80% of Japanese are frightened about what the future holds for their food supply.


You can read the rest here.
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Japan's future.

Postby guitarplayer7694 » Wed 04.23.2008 8:07 pm

I've been seeing alot in the news about how japan might have to live with lower quality, and quantity of, food. A news report gave a story of a woman who went to buy butter but the stores were all out http://business.theage.com.au/japans-hunger-becomes-a-dire-warning-for-other-nations/20080420-27ey.html.
So what is the future of Japan?
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Re: Japan's future.

Postby richvh » Wed 04.23.2008 8:53 pm

Topics merged.
Richard VanHouten
ゆきの物語
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Re: Japan's future.

Postby chikara » Wed 04.23.2008 9:23 pm

.... A sharp increase in the cost of imported cattle feed and a decline in milk imports, both of which are typically provided in large part by Australia, have prevented dairy farmers from keeping pace with demand. ....

We have been in our worst drought since European settlement which has only recently eased with rainfall in agricultural areas in the eastern states. Domestic demand for stock feed has pushed the price up and combined with low production levels has reduced the amount available for export. The price of meat and to a lesser extent dairy has risen here.

.... A 130% rise in the global cost of wheat in the past year, caused partly by surging demand from China and India and a huge injection of speculative funds into wheat futures, has forced the Government to hit flour millers with three rounds of stiff mark-ups. The latest — a 30% increase this month — has given rise to speculation that Japan, which relies on imports for 90% of its annual wheat consumption, is no longer on the brink of a food crisis, but has fallen off the cliff....

Many grain growers here haven't produced a wheat crop in years or have had crops with very poor yields. The price of bread has increased significantly as bakers have to pay higher prices for flour.

Any country such as Japan that relies heavily on imports is going to suffer shortages and higher prices when the countries that supply those items can not meet demand due to adverse local conditions. If we get some good winter rains production will be back up and exports to Japan will probably hit record levels as producers try to make up for years of low production.
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Re: Japan's future.

Postby coco » Wed 04.23.2008 9:47 pm

Toniさん、ひさしぶり。 :)

I think It is an exaggerative article based on some facts.

The adjustment of production by governmental policy in 2006 for domestic dairy farmers( because of excess of production) has raised the shortage of butter supply. Yes, our government couldn't estimate "A sharp increase in the cost of imported cattle feed".

But I think the shortage of butter is rather related with the price increases that is implemented on May 1st. In the middle of March, the makers of butter announced that they were going to increase (8-10% in consumer price ) their products prices. 
Please imagine. Do managers of dairy companies want to abundantly provide their products before price rising?
I think they rather want to adjust their supply.
Of course it is fact that many Japanese are much concerned / worried about the low rate of our food self-sufficiency.

Sorry for my poor English. I hope this makes sense.

richvh wrote:Topics merged.

ありがとうございました。 同じ記事を引用して新しくトピックをつくる態度を訝しく思っていたところでした。
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Re: Japan's future.

Postby Mike Cash » Thu 04.24.2008 6:01 am

A food shortage not caused by Mino Monta extolling its health benefits on daytime television? This is something novel.
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Re: Japan's future.

Postby Oracle » Thu 04.24.2008 8:07 pm

I was never that impressed by the quality of the butter (or any other dairy products) in Japan even when it was on the shelves..
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Re: Japan's future.

Postby Yudan Taiteki » Thu 04.24.2008 9:12 pm

I never had any problem with the butter or the milk.
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Re: Japan's hunger

Postby coco » Fri 04.25.2008 7:37 am

Today, a monthly analysis report of the dairy products was announced by MAFF(Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries of Japan).
According to the report, the private companies still have 19,200 tons of butter stocks(backlogs) at end of this March. It's about 25% of their products in the last financial year. And an administrative corporation,farming and stockbreeding industries institution(?) (農畜産業機構 ), has 200 tons. Compared to last 5 month( from Oct to February), the stock quantity became the largest. At least at that time (end of March), the shortage have been improving.
http://www.maff.go.jp/lin/pdf/seisan-gyuunyuu.pdf
It is natural that consumers want to buy products before increasing the price. Moreover, the press reporting about the food shortage makes more rushed buying.
----
Mikeさん、1993年に日本にいなかった?
あのときは米不足で都内ではお米が買えませんでした。
親戚に送ってもらった記憶があるので、地域によってはそれほど深刻ではなかったのかもしれません。

今年もアジア各国で米の価格が高騰しているので、私はそちらの方が気になります。
今年の収穫が順調でありますように。
---
edit: percentage
Last edited by coco on Fri 04.25.2008 8:42 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Japan's future.

Postby tōkai devotee » Fri 04.25.2008 8:01 am

ココさん、私はマイクではないですけど :wink: 1993 年に日本にいて、米不足をリコールします。大変でしたね。私はそれについてココさんが書いた事を読んだまで忘れてしまいました。思い出させてありがとう!非常に懐かしく感じる!

変な日本語だったら、ごめんなさい。
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Re: Japan's future.

Postby toni » Fri 04.25.2008 2:11 pm

coco wrote:Toniさん、ひさしぶり。 :)

I think It is an exaggerative article based on some facts.

The adjustment of production by governmental policy in 2006 for domestic dairy farmers( because of excess of production) has raised the shortage of butter supply. Yes, our government couldn't estimate "A sharp increase in the cost of imported cattle feed".

But I think the shortage of butter is rather related with the price increases that is implemented on May 1st. In the middle of March, the makers of butter announced that they were going to increase (8-10% in consumer price ) their products prices. 
Please imagine. Do managers of dairy companies want to abundantly provide their products before price rising?
I think they rather want to adjust their supply.
Of course it is fact that many Japanese are much concerned / worried about the low rate of our food self-sufficiency.

Sorry for my poor English. I hope this makes sense.


おはようございます、cocoさん。久し振りね! :D

Yes, no need to worry, your English is fine. :) I also thought that the article was very exaggerating, especially the title (Japan's hunger, like, what the hell?). What you said about the dairy companies and the upcoming increase in price makes sense, so I don't think it's any wonder that there is a shortage of butter especially in a huge city like 東京.

Dairy prices have been rising here in Finland as well. A liter of milk now costs a euro. :x A real ripoff. And with milk being so expensive by the liter, how expensive do you think stuff like cheese is right now...
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Re: Japan's hunger

Postby coco » Fri 04.25.2008 8:26 pm

Tokai さん
愛知県でもやはり不足していましたか。
Tokai さんを迎えたお家のご両親は、米不足にさぞ気をもんだことでしょう。
改めて「日本のお父さん」のご冥福をお祈りいたします。

ところで、上の農水省のPDFのファイルタイトル、微笑ましいでしょう? 「生産-牛乳」のローマ字書きです。
私もよくやります。^^


Toni さん
I was worried that you might not notice this thread because your title was changed.
I'm glad that you could find this thread.    :)
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Re: Japan's future.

Postby tōkai devotee » Fri 04.25.2008 9:32 pm

ココさん、私の事をよく覚えていますね。愛知県に住んでいたのが分かりいますね。「日本のお父さん」をお祈りしていて、ありがとうございます。私はまだ日本に行かないですけど、毎日私の日本の家族の皆さんを思い出しては、すぐ会いたいと思います。今お金が無い! :(  いつも1月から3月にかけて仕事をしますが会社は突然破産しました。だから、今仕事をしなくて、お金が無いんです。7月から違う会社で仕事をします。お金を貯めて、出来るだけ早く日本に行く予定です。
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Re: Japan's future.

Postby coco » Fri 04.25.2008 9:46 pm

tokai devotee wrote:いつも1月から3月にかけて仕事をしますが会社は突然破産しました。

:shock: あらら。バター不足より深刻ですね。
お金を貯めて、出来るだけ早く日本に行く予定です。

紅葉の京都もきれいですし、来年の春にも桜は咲きます。
お金を貯めている間に日本語をさらに磨けば、次の滞在はよりいっそう充実したものになると思います。 :)
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Re: Japan's future.

Postby tōkai devotee » Sat 04.26.2008 1:49 am

coco wrote:次の滞在はよりいっそう充実したものになると思います。 :)



それ欲しいですね。日本に行く為日本語を一生懸命に勉強して、もっと上手になります。
頑張ろうね!!
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