— Latest update: March 2022 —
The Japanese population is a traditional consumer of seafood, but meat consumption has increased gradually over recent years, especially among the younger generations. In 2019, Japan was rated as the second-largest meat importer, after China. Despite Japan’s rapidly ageing and declining population, the Japanese meat production industry is expected to experience growing sales due to the ongoing Westernisation of the typical Japanese diet. In particular, it is expected that younger generations of Japanese people continue regarding meat as a staple of their increasingly modern and less traditional diet.
In addition to younger generations, older generations show a tendency to continue with their meat diet as they get older. Other factors influencing the decline in seafood consumption are the lack of knowledge and skills to cook seafood among the younger generation and the price gap between meat and seafood.
In 2019, pork, poultry and beef were the top three meat categories in terms of retail sales value. Pork meat, bovine meat, poultry and meat preparations account for 90% of the volume of imported meat products.
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Sector Trend Analysis – Meat Trends in Japan, 2020
EU-Japan Centre for Industrial Cooperation , The Japanese Agrifood Market, 2017
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