In what is surely the most serious and dire story Kitchenette has written about all year, Japan could soon be seeing a significant shortage of potatoes.

There's a labor contract dispute going on right now in a bunch of West Coast ports — Los Angeles, Long Beach, etc. — between major shipping companies and the longshoremen they employ. It's actually been dragging on since May, and the resultant strikes and work stoppages have ground exports to a crawl. Unfortunately, this makes it difficult for Japan to get their potatoes, and...well...they really, really love American potatoes in Japan.

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After all, the average annual per capita consumption there checks in at 33 pounds of tubers. This is a country where "fry parties" are a thing, and I don't even know how to process the fact that Japan thought of that before we did. They actually import more American potatoes than any other country.

One company, Skylark Co., is apparently planning to circumvent the problem by importing 200 tons of potatoes by air. If this effort isn't ultimately referred to as Operation Tuber Drop or at the very least Operation Overspud, I will be very, very disappointed. After all, attempts to circumvent the Tater Curtain are no laughing matter.

Image via Alexandra Lande/Shutterstock.