Enough Shortages

Bye Buy Butter

Thirty-five years ago, it was toilet paper. Now, consumers and bakeries are hunting butter as Japan is suffering a butter shortage.


Supermarkets are limiting butter to one per customer. At OK Mart, Hokkaido butter brand was available, up 100 yen from it’s previous price of 199 yen. Buyers were allowed only one package of the precious gold.

Manufacturers are apologizing as usual.Butter-Net-Shop

Bakeries and restaurants have been having butter troubles since late 2007.

Falling butter production in Japan is due to a variety of factors since 2006, including government efforts to maintain prices for local milk farmers, dairy closures, a decline in milk consumption, excessive import tariffs, and worldwide grain-feed price rises.

French bakery chefs are concerned: “We’ve had to come up with some new items that use less butter, like cookies. But you’re talking about flavor. How can you replace butter?” says a pastry chef at a bakery in Tokyo. la times

Butt Shortage Not First

Japan went into “oil shock” in 1973 when Arab members of OPEC set policies that would quadruple the price of oil. Reports predicted a shortage of goods, including detergent, and toilet tissue. Panicked Japanese consumers rushed to stock up on toilet paper.



Nurses Needed Now

nurses-in-greenReports of a nursing shortage in Japan began appearing in the late 1990’s. In 2000, Japan had fewer nurses than in most other developed countries. There were 55.7 nurses per 10000 population in Japan, compared with 102.6 in Sweden and 81.4 in the United States. japan times

A new program that went into effect in March 2008 allows Filipino healthcare workers into Japan. The Japanese-Filipino Caregiver Project was initiated by Japanese companies Konoike Transport Co. Ltd and the Jukenzai Group to help address Japan’s shortage of nurses and caregivers for its aging population.
related: Nursing Guide

Train More Engineers

A shortage of engineers in Japan is causing concern about Japan’s competitiveness in science and technology. The New York Times reports Japan is now slowly beginning to accept more foreign engineers.

No Shortage of Shortages

eel-supermarket package.j

Japanese sweat over eels
Global eel population slip-sliding away
Eel Species

Japan’s tuna shortage spawns sushi panic
High fuel costs could reduce tuna fishing: industry group
Consensus reached to fight tuna overfishing: Japan

Air Japan targets Australian pilots
Skymark Budget Airline Short Of Pilots

More babies in Japan, but not enough
Japan looks to immigrants as population shrinks: report

Doctor shortage gives patients runaround
Doctor shortage takes a toll in Japan

A Red Cross worker calls for blood donations in Shinjuku.
Howling for Blood

fish-worried-vendor.jpgPossible Shortfalls Ahead

Another looming food crisis

Liquefied natural gas
Nuclear, LNG vie to meet Japan’s energy needs
Qatar, Japan’s White Knight

Lescure butter from France, JPY1,950 (250gr)
Japan’s Butter Meltdown
Kids, There’s No Butter

photo credits
OK Mart shelf, butter net shop; pilots: (letsjapan); Fishmonger (Janjan); Nurses (Retirement.jp); tuna: (business-i.jp); eel (Jiji) ; 1973 Oil Shock (unknown)

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