Japan throws away 6 million tons of food in 2015, figures show

TOKYO, April 18 — Japan’s food waste mountain exceeds the amount of global food aids, latest figures have suggested.

Japan threw away an estimated 6.46 million tons of food in 2015 that could have been eaten, according to a report compiled jointly by the agriculture ministry and the environment ministry.

Throwing away food means it wastes water, energy and fuel that were required to grow, store and distribute food, while discarded it ends up in landfill where it rots, releasing climate changing gases, experts say.

The agriculture ministry pointed out that good progress has been made by food manufacturers to reduce food waste since the ministry started assembling detailed records in 2012.

But it also said that expanding food service sector has grown simultaneously with food waste.

A breakdown shows that food wasted by the food industry accounts for 55 percent, while household food waste accounts for the remaining 45 percent.

The agriculture ministry will work on ways to reduce food waste, including campaigns to raise awareness among consumers and helping customers at restaurants take home uneaten meals.

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