【News】 MAFF Minister says “Shady transaction of SBS imported rice possibly causes most serious problem for rice producers in Japan. MAFF launched investigation.” (Sep. 17, 2016)

At a press conference held after a cabinet meeting on September 16, Yuji Yamamoto, Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF), responded to a question on a controversial issue of shady transactions of rice, imported under the state-controlled “simultaneous buy and sell” (SBS) system, between trading houses and wholesalers, by saying MAFF has launched an investigation into so-called “SBS rice” deals conducted by companies concerned in past years. “SBS imported rice has been possibly distributed with lower prices than generally assumed by padding import rice prices for sales to the government under the SBS system. These transactions could have caused negative impacts on prices of locally grown rice in the … Continue reading

Posted in Food and Agriculture | Comments Off on 【News】 MAFF Minister says “Shady transaction of SBS imported rice possibly causes most serious problem for rice producers in Japan. MAFF launched investigation.” (Sep. 17, 2016)

【News】Cucumbers sealing services to return illnesses to soil (Saijo-shi, Ehime Prefecture) (Aug. 7, 2016)

Once a year on the day of the ox in midsummer in Japan, a Buddhist temple in Saijo-shi, Ehime Prefecture performs a unique traditional ritual called Kyuri-fuji, which literally means a cucumber sealing service. The Buddhist rite is held by the temple, Setayakushi, to pray for good health of people by having cucumbers bear all the bad conditions of for example the people suffering long-standing illnesses. On July 30, 2016, the ceremony began with the sound of a shell horn blown loudly. The main hall of the temple was filled with approximately 6,000 cucumbers set on big wooden trays. Local Buddhist practitioners beat a dram and ringed shakujo, Buddhist ringed … Continue reading

Posted in Photo News | Comments Off on 【News】Cucumbers sealing services to return illnesses to soil (Saijo-shi, Ehime Prefecture) (Aug. 7, 2016)

【News】 Educational tour students returning to Fukushima prefecture: Study program on Great East Japan Earthquake disaster added to some school trips (Sep. 16, 2016)

Students visiting Fukushima prefecture have been increasing after some years passed since the nuclear accident at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant of Tokyo Electric Power Company took place at the eastern part of the prefecture in March 2011. Just after the disaster hit Fukushima, the prefecture saw a considerable decline in tourists. A number of junior high schools and high schools in other prefectures have resumed organizing educational tours such as school trips and camping school tours visiting the Fukushima prefecture. According to the Prefectural Government, the number of school tourists visiting the prefecture has recovered to 70 percent of the pre-disaster level. Some schools are adding a disaster-study … Continue reading

Posted in Food and Agriculture | Comments Off on 【News】 Educational tour students returning to Fukushima prefecture: Study program on Great East Japan Earthquake disaster added to some school trips (Sep. 16, 2016)

【News】 Japan-China Agricultural Products Trade Council held to agree boosting demands for rush grass products (Sep. 14, 2016)

The meeting of Japan-China Agricultural Products Trade Council was held in Tokyo on September 13. Participants of the meeting represented respective governments of the two countries, Japanese Igusa (rush grass) producers’ organization, Japanese importing companies of Igusa Tatami mats, and Chinese Tatami mats exporting companies. The participants of the two countries exchanged the latest information on production of Igusa and Tatami mats, demands for these products, and their volume of trade between Japan and China. They wrapped up the meeting by confirming that it would be more necessary for them to take measures necessary to boost consumption of rush grass products as well as stimulate demands for the products in … Continue reading

Posted in Food and Agriculture | Comments Off on 【News】 Japan-China Agricultural Products Trade Council held to agree boosting demands for rush grass products (Sep. 14, 2016)

【News】 Unique beauty contest of onion-cutting crying faces being held in Awaji Island, Hyogo prefecture, for promoting consumption of Awaji’s onions (Sep. 13, 2016)

An unusual beauty contest is now being held in Awaji Island, Hyogo prefecture, as a supporting campaign for onion producers in the Island. Females are competing for the title of the “most beautiful onion-cutting crying face” in an internet contest. Six women survived at the screening by application forms. They included an onion producer’s wife in her 70s, a high school student, and a primary school pupil with her grandparents growing onions. “Onion-cutting Crying Face Beauty Contest” began on July 9 on the internet. The start date was selected in a kind of Japanese numbers wordplay. Numbers 7 and 9 of “July 9” have pronunciation of “nana-ku” in Japanese, which … Continue reading

Posted in Food and Agriculture | Comments Off on 【News】 Unique beauty contest of onion-cutting crying faces being held in Awaji Island, Hyogo prefecture, for promoting consumption of Awaji’s onions (Sep. 13, 2016)