Farewell to The World's Poorest Agricultural Nation
Japan's food self-sufficiency ratio has finally dropped below 40%. That means we cannot survive without buying much of the food we eat from countries outside of Japan. And yet our government persists in policy-making aimed at reducing crop size. More subsidies for more land taken out of service, they say. This suicidal policy has continued for many decades. What about Japan’s consumers? While the whole world is buzzing about Japanese food, the Japanese are eating less and less of it. That means they are eating more Westernstyle food, which makes our self-sufficiency ratio fall even faster. We Japanese are walking a dangerous road of our own choosing. But there are a few that dare to challenge the situation in this poorest of agricultural nations. Who are these men that dream of farming on a global scale, and what are their chances of success?
Working with Japan
Using English to Get Results
By Patricia Pringle
Do you remember the ad - ver tise ments for a US vocational school that promised, “Success Without College”? Students at the school learned useful skills that enabled them to have successful careers, even if they could not attend university. Similarly, when working with the Japanese, learning some useful skills can make a difference in how effectively you communicate with the Japanese, even without learning more than a few words of Japanese language. Application of these skills is the key to “Success Without Japanese.” Since this is a big topic, the article is divided into two parts. This month’s article, Part (1), describes the basic challenges and some basic skills. Next month’s article, Part (2), covers more complex challenges and advanced skills. If you are reading this article, you are probably aware of some of these challenges, and are already using some of the skills. Other skills may be new to you.
Products Of The Month
Healthy for You, Healthy for the Planet
Osaka-based foodstuffs manufacturer Acecook Co., Ltd., which observes its 60th anniversary this year, has put on sale a new type of instant noodles employing an eco-friendly cup, lid, label and other packaging components. Its name, “Marugoto Shizen ni Kaeru Wakame Ramen” means “Wakame (a type of seaweed) noodles that return completely to nature.” The noodles will sell for about ¥200 ($1.95).
What kind of ability are young employees short of?