Activities of women in fishing communities starting businesses in Japan
Until the present, women in fishing communities in Japan have supported community life and the fisheries industry without a visible presence; however, in recent years, many women have actively started appearing on the stage, taking advantage of various crises and other opportunities occurring in fishery and fishing communities to make viable contributions. Here, I report on the issues and prospects related to their activities.
Since investigation in a formal capacity has not been extensively conducted, many points remain unclear points concerning the actual conditions/activities of businesses being started by women in fishing communities. However, according to a questionnaire-format survey conducted by the Tokyo Fisheries Promotion Foundation in 2010, it was confirmed that there were 364 counts of businesses being initiated by women in fishing communities throughout the country. The Japan Fisheries Cooperative Association (JFCA) is an organization that is specifically responsible for promoting such activities, and they have stated that 65.8% of these activities are related to women’s groups within the JFCA. Of these, 15.2% are newly-created organizations, and among these, there are many examples of corporate entities including limited liability companies or joint stock corporations. According to the results of the survey, sales related to processing/manufacturing and processed goods exceeded 60% of total sales. This was followed by 22% of sales being related to that of fresh fish/live fish, after which 9.9% of total sales was related to cafeteria management, and 8.2% to lunch delivery/sales.
The primary purpose of such business activities conducted by women is to stabilize household income even a little, where the householder is often a fisherman with an unstable income; furthermore, there is often the goal of making women more economically independent. However, such women’s activities are not for money alone. What motivates women to undertake such activities is to give other women in the community the opportunity to work in and contribute to the community, and to not waste the fish that their husbands and sons have caught from the ocean, often under life-threatening circumstances. These women truly want to help consumers to understand more about fish and our precious fisheries resources. In this way, we believe that these women’s contributions are essential to maintaining a healthy demand for fishery products in this country.
Regarding the challenges faced by such women in starting businesses, there are many issues and obstacles faced, such as sluggish sales, lack of successors, and lack of information and public support. However, there are many positive cases which have served to highlight product development, sales expansion, and the incorporation of new talent into current areas and activities. Such endeavors have also been undertaken with much enthusiasm by younger women members of the fishing community in recent years. Such young women are highly proficient in gathering and disseminating information using the Internet and SNS, and this has greatly impacted women’s activities thus far.
Women of Japan’s fishing communities think very seriously about the future of their home areas and fishery industries, and engage in these activities with pleasure and satisfaction, knowing that what they do is highly worthwhile. In conclusion, businesses promoted by women in the fishing community are true opportunities to encourage women’s independence in the real sense of the word.
|著者キーワード||Activities in starting businesses Continuance of activities Encouragement of women’s independence Quality of life Women in fishing communities|
|公開者||Japan International Research Center for Agricultural Sciences|