The social and economic environments surrounding the marine product processing industry in Japan have changed enormously. In a climate of conditioned change of management, what is the current state of the marine product processing industry in Japan? How will this industry develop in the future? There is a growing need for processed foods in the present day as shown by the trend of outsourced cooking and the overall simplification of food. Processed foods are becoming increasingly important to the national economy at the present time. The objective of this symposium is to clarify the correspondence of the marine product processing industry and present changes of the social and economic environments.
A representative situation of the marine product processing industry and how it is affected by current changes of the environment is the dried bonito industry. Dried bonito is a traditional marine product which has supported the Japanese diet for a long time as an essential soup stock in the Japanese cuisine. It will remain important for us as long as Japan has a Japanese-style food culture in the future.
First, various aspects of the present situation of the dried bonito industry and an approach to meeting the above described objectives will be clarified. Second, a view of the direction and possibility of the dried bonito industry is presented. Third, a grasp of the dried bonito food system from production to consumption is provided. Then, a further clarification, with the intent of making producers and consumers of dried bonito further understand each other, is attempted. The case study is Makurazaki, whose production area of dried bonito is the largest in Japan.
Responding to the trend of overall simplification in cooking, a leading food manufacturer develops nature soup stock-related products which include many, highly processed foods such as seasoned soy sauces. Dried bonito is extensively used as a source of these. The need for dried bonito as a raw material is changing. Firstly, this study aims to clarify the corporate behavior of dried bonito manufacturers responding to the increased need for dried bonito. 4 representative dried bonito manufactures in Makurazaki are examined. Secondly, the future perspective of Makurazaki as a production site of dried bonito is discussed.
It was found, as a result, that each of the 4 companies make dried bonito using a different approach and every company has a role in supplying the raw materials for user-manufactured end products. They make dried bonito which responds to the market and they improve their production technology to meet the demand for raw materials of highly processed food and reduce costs for the users, while making use of all available management resources. These new movements of leading companies will become important and mainstream on production sites. In order for Makurazaki to continue growing as a production site of dried bonito, it needs to achieve both how to make dried bonito in a sincere effort to respond to the needs of their consumers as well as to preserve the traditional technology of Hongare-bushi.
In this study, the problems of the dried bonito industry in Makurazaki from the labor point of view were discussed. Specifically, a comparison with the dried bonito industry in Indonesia was conducted and the position of the labor force of foreign nationals and the labor market of Makurazaki was analyzed. As a result, it has been found that the industry of dried bonito in Makurazaki has maintained its current production scale of processing dried bonito from the raw material “bonito” by becoming dependant on the labor force of a foreign country. In the future, in order for Makurazaki to ensure the superiority of its production, its effective use of grace periods, which have been obtained by a reliance on foreign labor, as well an exploration of a production structure that is not a mass production of low value-added products will be required.
In Lake Biwa due to environmental problems affecting the ecosystem, the fish catch has shown a tendency to decrease. We think an especially large influence is due to the, unusual increase of water plants and adherence of algae to fishing nets. So we examined their influence on the fishery. Then, we considered countermeasures in order to reduce damage to fisheries by the ecosystem change phenomena, such as policies for the current fishery, measures to operate policies done with agriculture, and a new policy. This draft includes results of research supported by the Environment Research and Technology Development Fund (D-1004) of the Ministry of the Environment, Japan.