Rather than blog about more substantive issues (like the massive fraud perpetrated by the Koizumi and Abe administrations with their faked “town meetings” in which the government paid people 5000 yen apiece to ask the right questions), I’ll use this time during a break from translation to look at the latest “live talk” from PM Shinzo Abe, intended as his modern-day version of FDR’s fireside chats.
Q: What is your favorite food?
Abe: Well, it hasn’t changed since I was a child. I still like Korean BBQ, ramen, ice cream, and watermelon!
Q: Do you eat breakfast every day?
Abe: Well, I was asked at the Diet this soon after I became prime minister. Sometimes I eat light, just tree kale juice, carrots, and apple juice, but since becoming prime minister, I have been making sure to eat rice, miso soup with clams, and fermented soy beans with lots of leeks.
Abe’s view, and it’s a sensible one, is that children who eat 3 meals a day are smarter and stronger, especially when they eat Japanese food “a combination of small dishes centered on rice” which is world reknowned for its balanced nutrients. Compare this with the US food industry’s belief that sugared cereal is the centerpiece of any “good” (formerly “balanced”) breakfast.
Abe goes on to mention that his father, former LDP faction leader and ex-foreign minister Shintaro Abe, could only eat with little Shinzo and his big brother Hironobu (now son-in-law of influential businessman Jiro Ushio) once a month due to his schedule. But whenever they did they always ate sukiyaki (cue touching music). Though part of the fun was getting to eat beef, it was enjoyable to eat with his father and the whole family. Eating with the family, he says, will enliven conversation and make the food that much more delicious!