12 Dec. 2010 Japan

The 5th session of the seminar, “The hints to think about hunger” Participants considered about hunger.

Prof. Katsumata Makoto and Mr. Saito Ryuichiro discussing on the rights to food.

The 5th session of the seminar, “The hints to think about hunger” was held at Meiji Gakuin University in Tokyo on 12 November.

The theme was “Food security from the view point of rights to food.” Since 2008, this public seminar series has been co-sponsored by HFW, Africa Japan Forum (AJF), the Japan International Volunteer Center (JVC), and the International Peace Research Institute of Meiji Gakuin University. Approximately 30 participants which consist of students, business people, employees of non-governmental organizations and mass media listened to the two lecturers, Katsumata Makoto, Meiji Gakuin University professor, and Saito Ryuichiro, Executive Director of the AJF.

In Japan, which can import food items from overseas despite a low level of food self-sufficiency,” we tend to feel secure of food availability, but the developing countries that also depend on foodstuff from the other countries do not feel the same way as we do. Prof. Katsumata, in regards to the rights to food, pointed out, “It is natural that there is food to eat, and the right should be guaranteed to all from birth.” He also raised the issue saying that the availability of safe and appetizing food is a matter of human dignity, and what is tasty differs from place to place, and it is insufficient to pay attention to increased food production only, but it is also crucial to consider safety and availability.

Afterward, the participants questioned, “How can our eating habits be changed to protect the rights to food for the small-scale farmers in the developing countries,” or “What kind of influence does this seminar have on the cosponsoring NGOs?” It seems that this seminar made the participants think about what is the rights to food which were supposed to be guaranteed for everybody and what is necessary for securing this right.

Questions answered by MamadaYuka, a HFW staff in charge of domestic program.

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