chapter  Chapter 2
13 Pages

Changes in Japanese Food Consumption

WithAnnabel Kirschner Cook

With the rapid modernization of Japan, some writers contend that Japanese consumption patterns are not just changing but becoming Westernized. It is true that Japanese society has undergone a number of changes that influence consumption patterns. In the last twenty years, real income in Japan has increased dramatically. However, the people should be careful not to generalize too broadly from the US experience to Japan. In addition, Japanese society is aging more rapidly than the US Japan's birth rate is one of the lowest in the world-on average, Japanese women can expect to bear just 1.4 children, well below the 2.1 children considered necessary for replacement-level fertility. It is the difference in Japanese food spending patterns that caution against overgeneralization about the Westernization of Japan, particularly in terms of food consumption. Consequently, in spite of changes in Japanese spending patterns over the last 20 years, they are still very different from the US.