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Food Crisis Hitting Japan Now

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posted on Apr, 22 2008 @ 05:46 AM

Food Crisis Hitting Japan Now

Last week, as the prices of wheat and barley continued their relentless climb, the Japanese Government discovered it had exhausted its ¥230 billion ($A2.37 billion) budget for the grains with two months remaining. It was forced to call on an emergency ¥55 billion reserve to ensure it could continue feeding the nation.

"This was the first time the Government has had to take such drastic action since the war,"
(visit the link for the full news article)

posted on Apr, 22 2008 @ 05:46 AM
It looks like even wealthy nations like Japan are feeling the pinch. It is probably time to start worrying if the country you live in imports a large portion of its food.
(visit the link for the full news article)

posted on Apr, 22 2008 @ 06:01 AM
One would assume that japan, does not make much of its food. But being a rich nation, the news is interesting.

posted on Apr, 22 2008 @ 06:38 AM
Yeah, wealth won't matter as much when the food producers of the world stop exporting so that they can feed their own people.

Here is an interesting list.

GENEVA, April 18 (Reuters) - The following lists the biggest exporters and importers of food in 2006, according to the World Trade Organisation (WTO) statistics. Country value share in world


US$ billion percent


1. European Union 79.64 10.2

2. United States 69.21 9.2

3. Brazil 34.34 4.5

4. China 27.86 3.7

5. Canada 27.10 3.6

6. Argentina 20.74 2.7

7. Australia 17.94 2.4

8. Thailand 14.71 1.9

9. Mexico 13.69 1.8

10. Indonesia 11.95 1.6

11. India 11.21 1.5

12. Malaysia 11.18 1.5

13. New Zealand 10.93 1.4

14. Chile 8.56 1.1

15. Russia 8.39 1.1


1. European Union 96.19 12.0

2. United States 80.28 10.0

3. Japan 52.17 6.5

4. China 22.92 2.9

5. Russia 21.78 2.7

6. Canada 20.03 2.5

7. Mexico 15.00 1.9

8. South Korea 13.04 1.6

9. Hong Kong (total) 9.47 1.2

10. Saudi Arabia 8.55 1.1

11. United Arab Emirates 8.27 1.0

12. Switzerland 7.37 0.9

13. Malaysia 6.84 0.9

14. Taiwan 6.66 0.8

15. Australia 6.20 0.8

I was surprised to see that the US is one of the top exporters in the world, yet we still import more than we export. Unless I am just reading the chart wrong, it is late after all

posted on Apr, 22 2008 @ 07:01 AM
It's hardly to the crisis levels that the headline makes it out to be - it's a butter shortage, at the time being. I've noticed it for a few weeks now - my local supermarket has a "2 per customer" sign up over the butter.

There have been no price increases thusfar - with the exception of Asahi saying they will up the price of beer.

About a decade ago, there was a rice shortage in Japan - complete with rationing - and after that, the government started taking grain stockpiling much more seriously. Apparently, there is a large enough stockpile to last a year, at this point. As long as that holds out, there won't be panic in the streets.

posted on Apr, 22 2008 @ 07:04 AM
reply to post by vox2442

You don't think you will be telling your grandchildren about the great butter crisis of 2008?

On a serious note though, I think the article does bring to light the issue that it is becoming increasingly difficult for countries to import food. I think the most important part was that Japan has already ran out of money for its grain budget, 2 months early.

I just worry that it is a sign of bad things on the horizon.

posted on Apr, 22 2008 @ 07:26 AM
reply to post by Karlhungis

aaah, the great butter famine of '08. The perfect bookend to the potato famine my ancestors endured..

hang on... Does this mean I can stop going west? Is it over?

To put the grain budget in context: Over the last couple of years, there has been an increase in the popularity of baking. Seems odd, I'm dead serious. I know a few people who have taken up baking as a hobby, after seeing something on tv. No complaints from me, because I tend to get a lot of free bread and cakes and things dropped by the office. There's also been a bit of an increase over the last couple of years in western style cooking - italian and french out here. That all translates to an additional demand - which the government did not budget for. That, alongside the price increase, has brought us to this point.

The worst case scenerio that I can picture is people turning away from beef and wheat-based foods, which is not that much of a stretch. What is really making people nervous though is the increased cost of soy - going without beef or bread is one thing, going without miso, tofu or shoyu is a lot more difficult.

posted on Apr, 22 2008 @ 07:51 AM
Perhaps that is why they are freezing Iran assets, because they can not pay back.

Japan freezes Iranian assets over nuclear activities'

Poor Japan buying all the American debt and now that the dollar is worthless they are losing big time.

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