Biodiversity / Food / Water

October 13, 2013


Food Safety Awareness Rising in Japan: 2012 White Paper on Food Education

Keywords: Food Government 

The 2012 edition of the government's White Paper on Food Education, released May 2013, presents the results of a research survey on citizens' awareness about food education, which showed that as many as 66.5 percent of respondents said they had basic knowledge about food safety. To the question, "Do you know what kind of foods to choose and how to cook them to avoid negative health impacts?" 13.5 percent answered, "I know enough," and 53 percent, "Yes, to some extent." These results were a significant improvement of people's awareness compared to the 37.4 percent shown by similar research for the 2010 General Study on Ensuring Food Safety.

With regard to interest in dietary habits, 94.5 percent said they were interested in food safety issues, and 86.1 percent said they were very concerned about leftovers and food waste. While the prices of crude oil and agricultural products are soaring internationally, Japan's food self-sufficiency rate is only 39 percent, a situation that could pose a high risk to the nation's food procurement. Therefore, public awareness and knowledge of foods and dietary habits needs to increase, the research results concluded. The survey for the paper was conducted in December 2012, and targeted 3,000 people aged 20 and over in Japan, with a response rate of 59.1 percent.