(From The Yomiuri Shimbun/Daily Yomiuri)
Intl Year of Rice signals reflection time for Japan
Yoshimi Nagamine Yomiuri Shimbun Staff Writer
With 2004 having been designated the International Year of Rice, the United Nations is organizing a campaign under the motto "Rice is life."
Rice, which is easy to cultivate and cook, plays a large role in preventing starvation in developing nations.
The U.N. campaign is likely to provide a good opportunity for Japanese to review the rice culture that has been part of Japan's own culture for thousands of years.
Jacques Diouf, director general of the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization who launched the International Year of Rice, said in autumn that rice "is the staple food for over half of the world's population," but warned …