A Study of Strategic Themes in the Internationalisation of Japanese Industry
New Horizons in International Business series
Chapter 8: Fisheries and Resource Security
OVERVIEW As an island economy, Japan has long been reliant on ﬁshery resources. Food sourced from the ocean accounted for around 40 per cent of protein consumed in Japan in 2000. Fish and ﬁshery products are a basic part of the Japanese diet and the national culture. Consequently the Japanese government has long been concerned with maintaining the viability of the Japanese ﬁshing industry, particularly in overseas ﬁsheries, as a means of ensuring food security. Oﬃcial policy measures have therefore encouraged both public and private overseas investment in the industry (OECD, 2003). Japan’s ﬁshing industry has declined in the post-war period due to comparatively high operating costs and diminishing access to ﬁshery resources. In 1960 the ﬁshing industry accounted for 1.5 per cent of the workforce, but this share had declined to 0.3 per cent by 2003. Japan’s total ﬁshing catch declined from around 13 million tonnes in 1984 to 6 million tonnes in 2003, partly due to a diminution of international ﬁshery stocks. In line with this structural decline, the number of ﬁshery workers in Japan has fallen from over 457,000 in 1980 to around 260,000 in 2000. The percentage of male ﬁshery workers over 60 years in age rose sharply from 28 per cent in 1990 to 45 per cent in 2000, clearly showing the ageing of the ﬁshery workforce. Further, access to ﬁshery resources in Japanese coastal seas had been restricted by regulations designed to bolster marine stocks. The Fisheries Law sets out rules...
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