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Japan's heat wave drives up food prices, prison inmate dies

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I was waiting for this headline. Every time there is any kind of weather event, food prices soar. It is too bad the consumer always gets the short end of the stick.

10 ( +11 / -1 )

Plenty of food in the world to import so this price gouging shouldn’t be necessary!

Also, the dead prisoner.

”It is truly regrettable that an inmate lost his life," Kiyoshi Kageyama, head of the prison, said in a statement. "We will do our utmost in maintaining (prisoners') health, including taking anti-heat stroke steps."

A prisoner dies and ‘now’ they are going to remedy the situation?

Too late now, isn’t it?

10 ( +12 / -2 )

In Miyoshi, where the prisoner died after a heat stroke, the temperature on the floor of his cell was 34 degrees C (93 F) shortly before 7 a.m. on Tuesday. The room had no air-conditioning, like most in the prison.

"It is truly regrettable that an inmate lost his life," Kiyoshi Kageyama, head of the prison, said in a statement. "We will do our utmost in maintaining (prisoners') health, including taking anti-heat stroke steps."

This isn't the first hot summer in history. These guards fully well knew how hot it gets in those cells all these years and this is the best they could come up with? What a crock of hippopotamus sized crap!

6 ( +8 / -2 )

34 degree floor? Why isn't anyone investigating this brutal lack of care?

10 ( +12 / -2 )

here's an idea to keep food prices down.... IMPORT

0 ( +7 / -7 )

"It is truly regrettable that an inmate lost his life," Kiyoshi Kageyama, head of the prison, said

Onion in hand.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

"It is truly regrettable that an inmate lost his life," Kiyoshi Kageyama, head of the prison, said in a statement. "We will do our utmost in maintaining (prisoners') health, including taking anti-heat stroke steps."

If you imprison someone, and don't allow them to leave, then it is your responsibility to ensure the conditions you are imprisoning with them are the base level to sustain life. They did not do this, and therefore they should be held negligent and punished accordingly.

I seriously doubt that would ever happen in Japan though. I wonder what this guy's crime was that turned into a life sentence.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

Prison, do you think the guards really care? If you die, you die one less POS to watch for is probably the mentality and culture in most prisons! Do you think the system really cares about your well being once your locked up?

3 ( +7 / -4 )

This gets repeated periodically here...

An agriculture ministry official in Tokyo, the capital, warned against "pretty severe price moves" for vegetables if predictions of more weeks of hot weather held up, resulting in less rain than usual.

Its either too hot, too cold, too much rain or too little rain...prices always get driven up using this as reasoning but they dont drop later. Here is a novel idea for J politician dinosaurs...why dont you import a few big shipments of well priced vegetables from overseas and exempt them from your ridiculous tariffs and quotas as an ' emergency measure ' since the rains were an emergency situation weather event.

Average J customer could choose to buy some cheap veggies if they so wish and the farmers as usual get compensated by the LDP vote buying machine which is how its always done anyway.

Aah, .......but TIJ .... its all too difficult isnt it....whats next, another butter or potato shortage crisis?

3 ( +5 / -2 )

After the preventable death of a prisoner all cells will be fitted with air-conditioners to prevent another unfortunate case of heat-stroke while heating will be provided to ensure nobody freezes in their cell during the chilly Japanese winter months. Just kidding!

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Importing food would mean Japan could easily be starved out from a naval blockade.

With current political climate, Japan should not import food for national security

-2 ( +6 / -8 )

An announcer pointed out in the news this morning. In the case of cucumbers, the heat caused the cucumbers to bend out of shape.

So why not sell the bent cucumbers instead of racking up the prices.

Our veggies dont need to be perfect. It’s gonna be chopped off anyways.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

Prisoners are human too. Some only have committed petty crimes. They deserve humane treatment.

7 ( +9 / -2 )

Temperatures in Japan's western cities of Yamaguchi and Akiotacho reached record highs of 38.8 Celsius (101.8 Fahrenheit) and 38.6 C (101.5 F), respectively, on Wednesday afternoon. In Takahashi, another western city and one of the areas hit hardest by this month's flooding, the mercury reached 38.7 C(101.7 F), just 0.3 degrees off an all-time high.

Why the need to waste space and pander to basically one country's people who for the most part refuse to catch up with the rest of the world when it comes to measurements?

2 ( +3 / -1 )

here's an idea to keep food prices down.... IMPORT

Over 60% of the Japanese dietary intake comes from IMPORTED food!

Japan is far from self sufficient in food production.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Importing food would mean Japan could easily be starved out from a naval blockade. With current political climate, Japan should not import food for national security"

Seriously?....you know this isnt 1940 , WW2 has ended and the world has moved on..time keeps ticking.. As for the naval blockade...there is this amazing thing called air cargo...its pretty cool.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

I thought Japan was already unable to produce more than 40% of what it consumes...it already depends a lot on imports, just saying...

I tend to trust Japanese produce much more though, produces seem safer and higher quality, but who knows...

1 ( +1 / -0 )

In Canada if you locked someone up in a concrete oven to bake you would be thrown in jail. That's just a brutal way to treat anyone!!!

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Its either too hot, too cold, too much rain or too little rain...prices always get driven up using this as reasoning but they dont drop later. Here is a novel idea for J politician dinosaurs...why dont you import a few big shipments of well priced vegetables from overseas and exempt them from your ridiculous tariffs and quotas as an ' emergency measure ' since the rains were an emergency situation weather event.

Except the prices do drop later - the price of most food today is almost identical to what it was 20 years ago when I first arrived in Japan. The miracle of zero inflation.

Also tarrifs on most vegetables aren't egregiously high, for most it is under 10% so it contributes very little to the price. Rice and a few other agricultural products (dairy, wheat) are a different story as they are protected by huge tariffs, and this is reflected in the price we pay here for rice (way more than in other countries) versus vegetables (mosttly marginally more than in most countries but not super high).

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Except the prices do drop later - the price of most food today is almost identical to what it was 20 years ago when I first arrived in Japan. The miracle of zero inflation.

Beg to disagree.

Anecdotally , went to get some stuff from a supermarket yesterday , got some domestic apples and brocolli...both used to be regularly 99yen a piece a few years back , now around 169 yen per apple and 199 yen brocolli...same for the last 2 or 3 years. Thats 70 % and 100% respectively. Wish they did drop back but not holding my breath.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@Blah

I totally get it where you're coming from. Importing goods/produce can create competition, but the quality of those goods will not be as high as the locally grown or manufactured and......... they will never stop coming in to the country.

Just food for thought (no pun intended)...............

The current food industry (and most commodities actually) in Australia is of "imported" nature - to the point that it is rare to see produce and consumables (especially in big cities) made or grown in Oz from 100% Oz grown/made ingredients - Grocery shopping takes longer for us, all due to reading labels as to separating the oranges from California, or the prawns from Vietnam, or the bread dough from Ireland - mind you, they are all cheaper.......much cheaper, and Oz has the resources to make/grow/harvest them. Quality of consumables has plummeted, farmers are looking overseas for markets for their livestock (only the lucky few contracted by the main grocery giants, and fast foods outlets are able to trade locally - with conditions). The Government has introduced new food labeling laws (instigated by consumer complaints) which include requirements for manufacturers to disclose the imported percentage of ingredients of their locally manufactured foods - these are only some of the examples of changes that will occur when borders are opened up for importing at a high level. On the "export side" of the Oz Free Trade Agreements, only a few at the top experience the riches of the mining boom (that is currently slowing down), or experience the (once booming) troubled business trading of shipping live animals to Middle-Eastern nations.

When there is a demand and the supply is low, of course the prices will rise. If importing "more" foods in to Japan now can alleviate the pain of paying high prices for a short period of time, then, as a consumer of mostly imported goods, I say there are/will be consequences that will require mitigating.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Anecdotally , went to get some stuff from a supermarket yesterday , got some domestic apples and brocolli...both used to be regularly 99yen a piece a few years back , now around 169 yen per apple and 199 yen brocolli...same for the last 2 or 3 years. Thats 70 % and 100% respectively. Wish they did drop back but not holding my breath.

Its definitely possible the odd item or two has gone up in price. But the Consumer Price Index in Japan last year was the same as it was in 1993, a quarter century ago. This means that the overall price of goods on average has been stagnant over that entire time (in comparison, in the United States it more than doubled over the same period).

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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