2014 Volume 123 Issue 4 Pages 575-586
Food-supply infrastructures in the metropolitan and urban fringe areas of Japan have weakened in recent decades. Consequently, it will be important in the future to optimize supply and demand when managing food in Tokyo. The Tokyo market has taken a variety of measures to solve inevitable problems. In a historical context, the development of suburban agriculture and transport infrastructure for supplying food played important roles in balancing the supply and demand of food in Edo—what is now Tokyo. When demand expands, food shortage problems arise, which are solved by improving the infrastructure of production and supply. In the Tokyo market, food was supplied from many domestic producing areas, with the food-supply area expanding in the latter half of the twentieth century. At the same time, food supplies were globalised by imports. As a result, in the Tokyo market, preferred foods were mass-produced in major and large producing areas, which were cheap and well regulated in terms of colour, form, and size, with reductions of food produced in minor and small producing areas. However, in the twenty-first century, alternative added value, which is not related to economic profits and efficiency, is being found in food production, supply, and consumption. Such added value derives not only from high quality and branding, but also from the safety, freshness, and traceability of food supplied.