The geopolitics of good sushi

With their economy still stagnant, Japanese have long eyed China’s growing economic prowess with trepidation. Now, China’s rise is hitting them where it really matters: the dinner table. The New York Times reported yesterday that due to the growing popularity of sushi in China, and especially of the rare bluefish tuna, Japanese are worried that ...

With their economy still stagnant, Japanese have long eyed China's growing economic prowess with trepidation. Now, China's rise is hitting them where it really matters: the dinner table. The New York Times reported yesterday that due to the growing popularity of sushi in China, and especially of the rare bluefish tuna, Japanese are worried that they will be priced out of the market.

Now only Chinese in the coastal areas are eating sushi, or can afford to," [fish farmer Hidemi] Kumai said. "What happens when the Chinese in the vast hinterland start eating sushi?"

Mr. Kumai, who has discovered a method of farming the temperamental - and expensive - bluefish tuna, argues that farming the fish should be a "national project," because "[n]ow Americans and Chinese are eating sushi, so we can't just sit back." And that's just the kind of economic aggression that new Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is advocating. 

With their economy still stagnant, Japanese have long eyed China’s growing economic prowess with trepidation. Now, China’s rise is hitting them where it really matters: the dinner table. The New York Times reported yesterday that due to the growing popularity of sushi in China, and especially of the rare bluefish tuna, Japanese are worried that they will be priced out of the market.

Now only Chinese in the coastal areas are eating sushi, or can afford to,” [fish farmer Hidemi] Kumai said. “What happens when the Chinese in the vast hinterland start eating sushi?”

Mr. Kumai, who has discovered a method of farming the temperamental – and expensive – bluefish tuna, argues that farming the fish should be a “national project,” because “[n]ow Americans and Chinese are eating sushi, so we can’t just sit back.” And that’s just the kind of economic aggression that new Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is advocating. 

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