Wagyu beef feeders compete in Sendai, Miyagi Prefecture, to win title of best beef in Japan

The 11th National Competitive Exhibition of Wagyu (Japanese beef cattle) was held during five days from September 7th to 11th in Sendai city, Miyagi Prefecture. 513 heads of bulls and cows from 39 prefectures participated in the quinquennial competition, where prefectures compete with pride and confidence in the shapes and the meat quality of their best wagyu. The judges this year gave the grand prize to Kagoshima Prefecture, which is the host of the next national exhibition. The venue also had booths for visitors to try beef from across the country and attracted 417,000 visitors in 5 days.

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The United States to allow imports of persimmons from Japan

TOKYO, Sept. 13 – The United States government has agreed to allow imports of fresh persimmons from Japan, Japan’s agriculture ministry announced Tuesday. The two governments reached consensus on necessary phytosanitary requirements, including appropriate pest control. Shipments of persimmons that meet the requirements are likely to start as early as this year. Japan had long been asking the U.S. to lift its import ban on Japan-grown persimmons. The U.S. government had been refusing to do so, citing insufficient pest control, but has judged the necessary conditions are met. The U.S. requires that persimmons to be imported from Japan be produced at farms which are registered at plant protection stations with … Continue reading

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Japanese pear exports to Vietnam resume after 10-year ban

SHIMOTSUMA, Sept. 7 — Japanese pear producers are getting access to Vietnam for the first time in 10 years. A Japanese pear, known as nashi, is apple-shaped with golden speckled skin and is somewhat different to a European pear; it is firm, crispy, sweet and juicy. In January, Vietnam lifted a ban on this crunchy late-summer fruit from Japan. Two months later, nashi producers in Shimotsuma city, Ibaraki prefecture, flew to Vietnam to develop the market. They sent test products by air and immediately struck a deal with local buyers, who accepted to pay 20 percent higher than prices paid to Japanese domestic producers. The Shimotsuma producers will export 100 … Continue reading

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Japan lifts 11-year import ban on Idaho potatoes after confirming lowered risk of pest invasion

TOKYO, Sept. 14 – The Japanese government lifted its import ban on raw chipping potatoes from Idaho, the largest potato producing state in the United States, for the first time in 11 years, effective Tuesday. Because the acreage in Idaho occupies 30 percent of potato crops in the U.S. – the world’s major potato growing country – the resumption of shipments could pose a threat to domestic production. Imports of fresh U.S.-made potatoes, used by Japanese snack makers to produce potato chips, have been on the rise in recent years, marking 28,000 tons in 2016. Japan began importing potatoes from the U.S. in February 2006. In April that year, the … Continue reading

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Japan to keep pushing EU to relax restrictions on food imports from Japan: farm minister

TOKYO, Sept. 13 – Agriculture minister Ken Saito said Tuesday the government will strengthen efforts to urge the European Union to ease restrictions imposed on Japanese food imports over the Fukushima nuclear disaster, after the European Parliament’s environment committee adopted a resolution earlier this month condemning the European Commission’s plans to relax controls on the imports. “If they look at the current situation of Japan-made food products based on scientific grounds, I believe the moves to ease restrictions will be accelerated,” Saito said at a regular news conference after the Cabinet meeting. In July, the European Commission, the EU’s executive arm, announced a draft amendment to its regulation on imports … Continue reading

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