September 30, 2016


Japan meat consumption rising, fish declines


Japanese consumers' appetite for meat is rising while that for fish is sliding. But it seems the shift has been forced by economic forces including the rising prices of fish.


Fish consumption is now 30% less than it was at its peak in 2001. It was overtaken by meat consumption about six years ago, and the gap continues to widen, according to data from Japan's Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, the Global Meat News reported.


The ministry said Japan's per capita fish consumption has ebbed to its lowest level since the 1960s.


"To date, Japanese people have liked and eaten fish, and seafood has been cheaper and easier to get than meat. But there has been an increase in global demand [for fish] and rising prices, so the consumption of meat has increased", Teruko Kamimura, spokesperson for the Japan-based Agriculture & Livestock Industries Corp., was quoted as saying in the report.


As of 2011, meat constitutes 12% of the average Japanese's diet, with pork as the most eaten at 56 grammes per person, up 833% on the 1961 figure, according to a National Geographic study.


By 2015, according to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation & Development (OECD), pork remained as the most popular meat among Japanese consumers at 15-kilogramme (kg) consumption per capita per annum, followed by poultry at 13.6 kg,


Pork consumption per capita is bound to increase by 2.8% and poultry consumption by 1.8% between 2015 and 2024, according to projections by the OECD and the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO).

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