The 1970s Global Food Crisis and Japan’s Food Security Strategy


During the Allied Occupation, Japan imported notable amount of agricultural products from the United States through the food aid program, and even once it regained its independence, it continued to be a major market for the U.S. However, the global food crisis in the early 1970s highlighted the fragility of Japan's food supply system and the risks linked to the high dependence on a single supplier. This led Japanese authorities to redefine the concept of national "food security" and promote a supply diversification strategy, through investments and aid programs in the "new agricultural countries". This article examines the impact of the 1970s global food crisis on Japan's national security discourse and on Japan's international relations. Drawing upon "securitization theory" and "food regime theory", this paper attempts to analyse how the "food dependence" threat was perceived and how this perception influenced diplomatic and policy decisions of Japan's government. It will be suggested that these decisions highly influenced not only Japan's diplomatic relations but played also an important role in the transformation of the post-war international food regime.

Author Information
Felice Farina, Kyoto University, Japan

Paper Information
Conference: IICJ2017
Stream: Japanese Politics and International Relations

This paper is part of the IICJ2017 Conference Proceedings (View)
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Posted by James Alexander Gordon