As the year 2021 started, we have to be careful about our lifestyles in order to survive the “with-Corona era”. Looking at the future of the global socio-economy in which the people of the world live, the United Nations is promoting the “SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals)” (17 items adopted at the UN Summit in September 2015, see PDF link), and the Japanese government has announced its policy to achieve a “zero carbon society in 2050.
It is in the areas of food supply and decarbonization/green energy, the two key words that form the foundation of the SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals, 17 items adopted at the UN Summit in September 2015), which are indispensable for human life, that our northern Japan (Tohoku and Hokkaido) region has abundant resources and the potential to lead Japan’s industry, technology, and human resource development in the practical field.
However, in reality, after 10 years of the Great East Japan Earthquake, there are concerns that 1) the number of primary industry (agriculture and fisheries) workers is declining, the birthrate is declining and the population is aging, and the streets are becoming less bustling; 2) marine and fishery resources, which have been the traditional strength of the region, are becoming depleted; 3) from an international perspective, the industrial technology policies of Southeast Asia and other countries are catching up, and it is no longer possible to compete in cost competition with single-function parts and mass production; and 4) stable employment (year-round employment) and job opportunities are decreasing due to the weakening of supply chains and outflow from outside the region.
The Northern Japan (Tohoku and Hokkaido-area) region is facing an increasingly severe situation due to a combination of geopolitical factors from home and abroad. We have established the “Northern Japan SDGs Smart Agriculture Promotion Forum” to reconfirm the technical issues of regional society that cover the above reality and to aim for the revitalization of the Northern Japan region.