A CRITICAL SITUATION
With a low food self-sufficiency rate, Japan is experiencing a massive increase in environmental load from food imports…
Britain throws away more than 1/5 of its food; Japan reportedly throws away as much as Britain spends on food each year…
- 60% of all Japan’s foods are imported: being the world’s greatest food importer has also put the country on top of the Food Miles Shame List compiled by UK-based Environment group Safe Alliance;
- Food Miles index is calculated by multiplying the transportation distance with the volume of food transported. Japan's index in 2001 was 900 billion ton-kilometres, more than 3 times that of the United States, which has more than twice Japan's population.
- according to recent reports, Japan, the world’s biggest importer, throws away some US$101 billion worth of food a year. This is as much as Britons spend on food, of which they junk some US$36 billion a year, or about US$780 per person;
- by some estimates, the food the Japanese throw away could feed 50 million people a year. Not only is the Japanese government concerned about the effect of this on landfill sites, but also on the environment.
- The government aims to cut food thrown away by food businesses by 1/5, using the 2001 Food Recycling Law. The farm ministry estimates this at some 10 million tons of food waste annually. About half of the 4 million tons ditched by manufacturing plants was recycled, while 6 million tons from the foodservice sector was burnt or went to landfill sites.