TOPIC 1 Life-style in Pandemic
Due to COVID19, we are obliged to stay home, have more time to spend for reading books andwatching dramas/movies than before, and change our lifestyles.
Q1 Among the books you read recently, do you have a book you think interesting, impressive, or moving and want to recommend to us?
Q2 How about the dramas and movies?
Q3 Sometimes I feel like going out to parks near my house on weekends, looking at flowers, weeds, and trees. Do you have such places to visit near your houses?
Q4 Do you have a new habit you acquired after the outbreak of the pandemic?
TOPIC 2 Sustainability of Japan’s Food Supply and Agriculture
Most of the people in the world did not imagine and prepare for the outbreak of a global pandemic. Now, we are under threat of the pandemic resulted from COVID19. So, I think we should examine other disruptions causing severe damagesto our lives.
In Japan, we have been benefiting from world trade and we have been importing various kinds of foods from overseas, including both staple and novel foods. According to the statistics of the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, Japan’s food self-sufficiency ratio continuously dropped from 73% in 1965, to 53% in 1985, to 37% in 2018. Japan is highly dependent on food supply from abroad.
Q1 We have very advanced supply chain systems. But, the disposals of foods still edible at supermarkets, convenience stores, and restaurants, is sometimes taken up.
What causes such disposals in Japan?
Q2Due to the worsening relationship with the US, food security in China has become a serious issue. This April Chinese Congress passed a law to fine people for excessive food leftovers.What do you think about the adoption of a law restricting the fooddisposals with fines and other measures in Japan?
Q3 The Japanese government has been reducing the supports to producers in agriculture, mainly market price supports and infrastructure supports. But the supports measured by the ratio to gross farm receipts are still high and more than 2 times above the average of the OECD member countries.
What do you think about these market price supports and infrastructure support to agriculture?
Q4 In spite of the governmental supports to agriculture, Japan’s agriculture seems to lose its vitality. Do you have any ideas to vitalize Japan’s agriculture?