Food sovereignty and education: A Japanese type of harmonization

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Abstract


Every civilization has specific social-cultural rituals for eating, and contemporary Japan is a particularly interesting case. The architects of the Japanese food policy use a special respect for food in two ways: first, as a tool of soft power to spread Japanese influence worldwide; second, as an effective way to ensure food security. It is the second component that interests the authors. The article identifies key issues of Japan’s food policy. Based on the institutional analysis and the food regime theory, the authors identify the structural nature of food import dependency of the Land of the Rising Sun. The combination of the comparative approach and retrospective analysis allowed to discover a number of elements that are closely connected with the idea of food sovereignty, especially the concept of shokuiku (food education). Based on the historical-genetic method, the authors suggest a cognitive route of the terminological unit “from the component of folklore to the legislative act” and identify structural-functional features of the Basic Law ( Shokuiku Kihon-ho ). The analysis of three Basic Plans for promotion of Shokuiku proved the institutional reorientation of Japan to collectivism, healthy lifestyle and dietetics of younger generations. Despite the fact that effectiveness of re-profiling was verified by empirical data, the article provides a critical analysis of shokuiku as well. The state monopoly on food knowledge and risk discourse legitimize ideologies, generate alarmist feelings and lead to food nationalism.


About the authors

S V Chugrov

Moscow State Institute of International Relations (University)

Author for correspondence.
Email: new-polis@politstudies.ru
Prosp. Vernadskogo, 76, Moscow, Russia, 119454

доктор социологических наук, профессор кафедры международной журналистики Московского государственного института международных отношений (Университета) Министерства иностранных дел России; главный редактор журнала «Политические исследования»; ведущий научный сотрудник Института мировой экономики и международных отношений Российской академии наук

A V Malov

Lomonosov Moscow State University

Email: malov.pvo@gmail.com
Lomonosova Prosp., 27, GSP-1, Moscow, Russia, 119991

аспирант кафедры сравнительной политологии

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