chapter  5
21 Pages

The global versus the local

Global politics features both globalizing and localizing dynamics as well as “the production of new spatialities and temporalities” that “belong to both the global and the national, if only to each in part.”3 Frank Lechner illustrates the way the two coexist in his description of how the Tokyo fish market is at once “a very Japanese place,” while also serving a global clientele:

The Tsukiji fish market in Tokyo is the largest in the world. Six days a week, traders buy thousands of pounds of fish at dockside auctions in order to resell it to chefs and retailers – 50,000 people working to satisfy the needs of the region’s more than 20 million residents. Tsukiji is a very Japanese place, with its own Japanese trading customs, linked to distinctively Japanese businesses, and catering to Japanese tastes in seafood. At the same time, it serves as the central hub of the global fishing industry. Thanks to modern shipping technology – the more valuable flies via Narita International Airport – it enjoys a global supply, ranging from Canadian salmon and Maine sea urchin roe to Okhotsk crab and Thai shrimp.4