Food and Energy in Japan
-- How Will Japan Feed Itself in the 21st Century? --

Antony F.F. Boys 2000

Published in the Research Journal of Ibaraki Christian Junior College, Vol. 40, (December 2000) pp. 29-132

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Energy will perhaps never be as cheap and abundant in Japan as it is today. However, the era of cheap and abundant energy (primarily oil) is drawing slowly to a close. In twenty to thirty years' time it will probably not be possible to rely as we do today on cheap and abundant energy sources to help grow, transport, process, package and prepare food, or to make fertilizers and other agricultural chemicals, or to make, maintain, repair and fuel agricultural machinery. Japan will have to rethink its agricultural policies, and its eating habits. By looking at agricultural and lifestyle statistics over the last 120 years, and at Japan's natural endowments it should be possible to discern what Japan needs to do to carry out the transition (return) to a sustainable way of life around the middle of the 21st century.


0. Purpose

Part One: Fossil Fuels and Other Energy Sources
1.1. Japan's Energy Supply
1.2. Oil Resources and Reserves
1.3. The World Oil Production Peak
1.4. Can other sources of energy substitute for oil?

1.4.1. Non-Renewable Energy Sources
1.4.2. Renewable (Alternative) Energy Sources
1.4.3. Measuring real wealth: eMergy
1.4.4. Other possibilities?

Part 2: Japan's energy, food, and agriculture situation at the beginning of the 21st century
2.1. Japan's Self-Sufficiencies In Energy And Food

2.1.1. Energy Self-Sufficiency
2.1.2. Food Self-Sufficiency
2.1.3. Japan's imports of food
2.1.4. A Short Digression into Future World Population
2.2 The Population of Japan
2.3 Japan's Agricultural Land Resources
2.4 Food Production in Japan
2.4.1, Staples: Rice, Cereals, and Soybeans
2.4.2. The Production of Vegetables, Fruit, Dairy Products, Meat and Fish
2.5 Diet Change in Japan in the 20th century
2.6 Changes in Japan's Farming Population
2.7 Use of energy in food production, delivery, processing, and preparation
2.7.1. On-farm energy use
2.7.2. Energy and Chemical Fertilizers
2.7.3 Agricultural Chemicals
2.7.4 Off-Farm Food-Related Energy Use
2.8. Japan's Long-Term Renewable Resources
2.8.1. Soil
2.8.2. Water
2.8.3. Forests
2.8.4. Animals
2.8.5. People

Part 3: Summary

Japanese Bibliography
Appendices 1-4
Abbreviations and Units