MFMers in Japan have had a pretty good October: not only have they been busy saving the planet and improving their health, they have also had the chance to win tickets to a gig by the campaign’s founder, Paul McCartney.
Organised by MFM All Japan, a collaboration between a number of vegetarian, vegan and animal rights organisations, launched in 2015, entrants were asked to watch MFM’s One Day a Week film and send in the “impressions and opinions” it inspired, with a view to winning one of six tickets, two tickets for two of the three nights Paul will be playing. The Freshen Up tour arrives in Tokyo later this month including for two consecutive dates, Wednesday 31 October and Thursday 1 November, and a night in Nagoya, Japan’s fourth most populous city.
The four Tokyo winners were Hiroko Ito, Akiko Sasaki, Ikuto Kasahara and Sachiko Honda, while Shinya Nishiwaki and Meina Miyano scooped the Nagoya tickets. In her winning entry, Hiroko Ito observed that negative news stories about the environment can leave people feeling overwhelmed and “you often do not know what to do. MFM is an easy and effective answer.” Meina Miyano echoed those sentiments: although she learned about environmental issues in college, “I rarely talk about them in my daily conversation. I don’t talk much about politics. It is because I feel resigned, thinking ‘It won’t be changed so much even if I take action.’ ” Watching One Day a Week, however, made her realise the power of individuals to effect planet-wide change.
In a short interview with MFM All Japan, Paul said he was “very happy” to learn that, thanks to its efforts at awareness-raising, meat reducing was on the rise in the country. He added that the campaign was “helping people to understand the importance and the fun of MFM. I thank the Japanese people and hope they will keep on supporting us.” Staff at Japan’s Cabinet Office and Cabinet Secretariat have been enjoying a Meat Free Friday since last year, while Tokyo’s huge Metropolitan Government Building introduced a new veggie menu just this month. Both moves were inspired by Paul’s latest journey to the land of the rising sun.
MFM All Japan will have a stall at Paul’s gigs, alongside other organisations such as Veggie Monday, Vege Project, Tokyo Vegan Meet Up, the Japan Vegetarian Society and Animal Rights Center Japan.