DIJ forum Obesity

dij_ob_2_2010-04-01_07-03-20policing obesity in japan. health politics and japanese-style risk society

this lecture focuses on the background and the repercussions of the new mandatory special health checkup which has been popularized under the name of metabo health checkup. i will place the japanese government’s long-standing interest in surveying the national body and the recent shift towards mapping adipose bodies into the context of the sociological discussion on risk and reflexivity in modernity. in doing so, i focus on three major issues: the fabricated nature of risk in contemporary society; the political weight of experts and expert knowledge in contemporary forms of governance; and the changing relationships between individual, state and society. hence i also ask to what degree the current debate on health and obesity in japan has been tainted by neoliberal politics. drawing on official sources, including minutes from