Author: Masaharu Tsubokura
Editors: Akihiko Ozaki M.D., Yuki Senoo
167. The role of mutual support in a community for protecting people’s health
When considering your health, it is crucial to understand not only the risk of radiation exposure, but also lifestyle-related diseases such as diabetes and obesity. Moreover, it is essential to consider other factors that affect your health and take control of your health in a well-balanced manner.
Among various health risk factors, you may often encounter topics related to smoking, eating habits, and exercise, and you may naturally be more conscious about controlling these factors. However, loneliness has a more significant impact on your health than the factors mentioned above.
The definition of loneliness is not limited to living by yourself or with relatives. Previous studies have revealed that connections with a variety of communities, including alumni associations, work colleagues, and friends with whom you share the same hobbies, are essential to maintaining your health. In other words, involvement with various societies and specific groups of people who care about you and express sympathies with each other contributes to achieving a healthy life. Indeed, the United Kingdom has even established a Ministry of Loneliness to tackle this issue.
Health is built upon cooperation among people. When you and your neighboring families take care of each other, such cooperation can lead to early recognition of potential health issues. Moreover, communication with your local community will help you gain necessary information, including that related to health. For example, if you stay in touch with someone on a regular basis and share time with your family and friends even for short periods during the week, you increase your chances of connecting with people who care about you.
This is certainly not easy for some people to do, but individual engagement with the local community is crucial to protecting the health the whole community.
168. Increased electricity consumption after WW2
In Japan, electricity consumption has increased consistently since the Second World War. In particular, electricity consumption has increased dramatically since the period of high economic growth, and Japan’s consumption in 2015 was about 5.5 times higher than in 1965. Since the Great East Japan Earthquake, various power-saving efforts have been implemented to slow this growth. However, Japan remains the world’s fourth largest electricity consumer after China, the United States, and India. In addition, Japan ranks fourth worldwide in terms of average power per capita.
Although Japan is one of the world’s largest electricity consumers, our land lacks resources such as oil and natural gas and has a low energy self-sufficiency rating. Moreover, Japan’s self-sufficiency rating has fallen even more since the earthquake to approximately 6 to 8%. Therefore, the country uses imported resources almost exclusively to generate electricity.
Countries in the Middle East, such as Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, are the main suppliers of Japan’s crude oil, which accounts for more than 80% of the country’s total imports. In addition, most of the coal and natural gas used in Japan are imported from overseas. In general, when a country’s energy self-sufficiency rating is low, international affairs can easily prevent the country from securing resources, making it more vulnerable to price fluctuations. In the past, international affairs such as the oil shock, warfare, and conflicts have had an enormous impact on Japan’s energy self-sufficiency rating.
The Japanese version of the manuscript was originally published in Fukushima Minyu, a local newspaper in Fukushima prefecture, Japan, 25th March and 1st April 2018 was reproduced for MRIC Global under the author's permission.