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Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Japan's Jobless: Back to the Land

As the global financial crisis sinks Japan into its worst recession since World War II and hundreds of thousands of jobs are slashed in factories and offices, farming has emerged as a promising new career track. "Agriculture Will Save Japan," blared a headline for a business weekly magazine. Farmer's Kitchen, a popular new Tokyo restaurant, plasters its walls with posters of hunky farmers who supply the eatery with organic vegetables. Seeing agriculture as one of the few industries that could generate jobs right now, the government has earmarked $10 million to send 900 people to job-training programs in farming, forestry and fishing. Japan's unemployment rate was 4.4% in February, up from 3.9% a year earlier, but still lower than the U.S. or Europe. Some economists expect the figure to rise to a record 8% or so within the next couple of years. Policy makers are hoping newly unemployed young people will help revive Japan's dwindling farming population, where two in three full-time farmers are 65 or older. Of Japan's total population, 6% work in agriculture, most doing so only part time, down from about 20% three decades ago.
Read the full article here, or click the image to the left to view a slideshow.

posted by CASFS 2006 @ 11:57 AM

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