Japan helps meat producers to meet EU’s residue standards

TOKYO, Dec. 27 — Japan has stepped up efforts to make conditions for sanitary certification of livestock farms producing pork and poultry to meet requirements for exporting to the EU market. The government earmarked 400 million yen to facilitate agricultural exports in a supplementary budget for the current fiscal year ending in March 2018. The agriculture ministry will use the financial support for meat producers to test whether their samples have pesticide residues in excess of the EU’s allowable limits. The move coincides with the timing of Tokyo and Brussels aim to bring the trade agreement into effect in early 2019. Through the agreement, the EU will scrap tariffs on … Continue reading

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Japan eyes Southeast Asia to expand Japanese food outlets

TOKYO, Dec. 21 — Cool Japan Fund, a government-backed investor, has targeted Southeast Asia and is betting the region’s rapidly growing middle class can boost exports of Japanese agricultural products through outlet openings. The Cool Japan Fund said at a Dec. 20 press conference that it will provide up to 500 million yen in funding, aimed at supporting Japanese food operators opening 100 outlets in the next five years in the Southeast Asia region. “We hope this business will help expand exports of Japanese agricultural products,” explained an official from Cool Japan Fund. The Cool Japan Fund, set up in 2013, is the centerpiece of the government’s “Cool Japan” strategy. … Continue reading

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【Series】 Our Noh no Ikebana : “Let’s celebrate new year with happy decoration,” says Sachie Sano from Nantan city, Kyoto (Jan. 5)

“Usually, I have a large basket in the entrance hall and enjoy arrangements with silver glasses, persimmon branches and other mountain flowers and fruits. I also like crafting and sometimes enjoy making akebia vine wreaths. Most of the people here enjoy the arrangement in the same way, I think. It’s more fun to decorate agricultural products than flowers you bought, isn’t it? The theme of the arrangement today is the new year holidays. I used a pole for Koinobori carp-shaped streamers, and I wrap it with straw matting to make it look like a dog with long ears. It’s the year of the dog in the Chinese astrological calendar, you … Continue reading

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Japan’s 2016 farm output tops 9 tln yen for first time in 16 years

TOKYO, Dec. 27 — Japan’s agricultural output exceeded a landmark 9 trillion yen in 2016 for the first time in 16 years, data from the agriculture ministry has shown. Improved prices of table rice were a major factor affecting the nation’s agriculture production, which rose by 4.6% year-on-year to 9.2 trillion yen in 2016, according to the ministry. The rise is also attributed to unfavorable weather conditions, which reduced supplies of vegetables and fresh fruits and helped to boost prices, the ministry noted. The number of farmers in Japan has steadily shrunk in recent times, as they get older and scramble to consolidate. That has impacted the nation’s agricultural production … Continue reading

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Japan’s farm minister defends government’s trade estimates

TOKYO, Dec. 23 — Japan’s Agriculture Minister Ken Saito has defended the estimates the government released on impacts of recently signed trade deals, saying he will continue explaining farmers with details. The government on Dec. 21 unveiled estimates of the impact on agricultural products from the two deals, namely the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) without the United States and the Japan-EU free trade agreement. Yet some experts raise criticism that the government underestimates the impact on the farming sector because the estimates were calculated with the condition that agricultural production volume would not be changed. “I don’t see any problem with the way it was calculated,” Saito said at a Dec. … Continue reading

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