【News】Five national organizations of primary and commerce industries unite with agreement on regional revitalization (May 20, 2017)

JA ZENCHU (Central Union of Agricultural Cooperatives), an apex organization of agricultural cooperatives (JAs) in Japan, and other four national organizations representing interests of forestry, fishery, commerce and local industries made an agreement on May 19 to further promote regional revitalization in the country. These five national organizations wish to maintain and develop the economy of rural areas by promoting local industries and tourism through collaboration among different industries for initiating new business activities such as so-called “AFFrinnovation” or sixth industrialization of agriculture and other primary industries. After a signing ceremony of the agreement, Choe Okuno, JA ZENCHU’s president emphasized the importance of its implementation, saying “Various industries supporting regional … Continue reading

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【News】Japan Rice Flour Association to inaugurate activities in Tokyo on May 25 (May 20, 2017)

“Japan Rice Flour Association” will be set up in Tokyo on May 25 by more than 50 individuals and organizations including agricultural cooperatives, consumers’ organizations, food-related business operators, gourmet scholars, and academics. The Association aims at stimulating demands for rice flour as well as promoting development of its items by spreading not only a new standard for categorizing Japanese rice flour according to its uses into three classifications, rice flour for cakes, rice flour for bread and rice flour for noodle, but also a labelling standard for “non-gluten rice flour” without any gluten contained, which standards were recently fixed by the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries. For the purpose … Continue reading

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【News】Members of Japan’s ruling party urge Shinzo-Abe’s administration to take cautious attitude toward U.S.-less TPP talks (May 18, 2017)

The Japan’s ruling party, Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), held a meeting of its Headquarters for Implementation of TPP Comprehensive Measures on May 17, prior to a ministerial meeting of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) to be organized in Vietnam on May 21. At the meeting, Nobuteru Ishihara, Minister in charge of TPP, expressed his concerns by emphasizing “If a new course of direction of the U.S.-less TPP is not worked out, eleven member countries will go their separate ways.” “We would not like to rule out any option. I will lead the talks with counterparts of TPP 11 countries at a meeting in Vietnam to find out the best way of … Continue reading

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【News】Japanese government recognizes a need to readjust safeguard requirements under “TPP 11” free trade pact (May 18, 2017)

Officials of the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF) confirmed their assumption on May 17 on how the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) free trade pact will come into effect within a new framework of so-called U.S.-less TPP 11. MAFF’s officials, attending a meeting held by the ruling Liberal Democratic Party’s Headquarters for Implementation of TPP Comprehensive Measures, replied to a question regarding the U.S.-less TPP by saying it will be necessary for Japan to change not only import quarters of dairy products that Japan agreed with all the TPP member countries including the United States, but also conditions for applying safeguard measures or emergency import restrictions of beef and other … Continue reading

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【News】Agricultural cooperatives to help producers’ groups get “Good Agricultural Practice” certified in every prefecture (May 17, 2017)

JA ZENCHU (Central Union of Agricultural Cooperatives), an apex organization of agricultural cooperatives (JAs) in Japan, has decided on a policy of promoting obtains of “Good Agricultural Practice (GAP)” certifications by commodity-wise producers’ groups organized at JAs throughout the country. JA ZENCHU, expecting domestic users will increasingly apply GAP to their business requirements, plans to consolidate a support system of a JA group, a nationwide business and organizational network of agricultural cooperatives (JAs), with which system the JA group will aid producers’ organizations in introducing GAP standards as well as getting GAP certified. Under the JA ZENCHU’s program, every JAs’ organization at prefectural level allocates staff members to special positions … Continue reading

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