IUC Lecture Series in Tokyo
Consumers, Farmers, and the Future of Food Safety in Japan

We regret to announce that this lecture has been cancelled due to concerns over COVID-19. We will continue to monitor the situation and reschedule the lecture when events make that possible. Thank you for your understanding.

From the excesses of rapid industrialization during the early postwar era to the fallout from the 2011 nuclear disaster at Fukushima, the Japanese people have had good reason to distrust the safety of the national food supply. In response, farmers’ cooperatives and consumer organizations have allied on behalf of strict food safety policies, including curbs on food imports and protections for the traditional family farm. But in the wake of changing consumer preferences, globalization, and severe demographic pressures in the countryside, that alliance and its policy agenda are now under siege. Drawing on her research on both postwar consumer movements and contemporary agricultural reform, Patricia Maclachlan explores the philosophy and historical evolution of the consumer-farmer partnership and its implications for the future of food safety in Japan.

Patricia L. MaclachlanPatricia L. Maclachlan (IUC ’92) received her PhD in political science from Columbia University in 1996, and is now Professor of Government and the Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Professor of Japanese Studies at the University of Texas at Austin. Her publications include Consumer Politics in Postwar Japan: The Institutional Boundaries of Citizen Activism (Columbia University Press, 2002), and The People’s Post Office: The History and Politics of the Japanese Postal System, 1871-2010 (Harvard University East Asia Center, 2011). She is now completing a book on Japanese agricultural reform in collaboration with Dr. Kay Shimizu (University of Pittsburgh). Dr. Maclachlan currently serves on the Japan-U.S. Friendship Commission and the United States-Japan Conference on Cultural and Educational Interchange (CULCON), the American Advisory Committee of the Japan Foundation, and the editorial board and board of trustees of the Journal of Japanese Studies.



The IUC Lecture Series is sponsored jointly by the Inter-University Center for Japanese Language Studies and the Nippon Foundation, with support from the International House of Japan. The lectures, by prominent IUC alumni, are held twice a year and are conducted in Japanese.

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