JA Fukushima to build future with SDGs to dispel nuke anxiety

FUKUSHIMA, March 14 ― A farmers’ group in Fukushima prefecture has emphasized the need for implementation of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and its relevance in the context of Fukushima, which has been hit hard by the 2011 earthquake and nuclear disaster. JA Fukushima Mirai (future) has included the need for the successful implementation of SDGs in its three-year action plan that starts from 2019. It aims to dispel rumors about its safety in the wake of the meltdown at the Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s No.1 power station in the prefecture in 2011. Fukushima has set a target of more than 51 percent of local produce to be certified … Continue reading

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[Joy of Noh no Ikebana] Fumiyo Kubo (75) from Hachioji, Tokyo

Height gap can give arrangement depth. “I began Noh no Ikebana more than 20 years ago. The best part of Noh no Ikebana for vegetable farmers is how we can create arrangements with vegetables we grow and flowers in the fields. We can’t sell veggies in irregular shapes and sizes, but they look just brilliant in the arrangements. My friends and I go to many places to host exhibitions and events for beginners, which gave me valuable experiences. I think it’s an ageless hobby, and I want to continue enjoying it for as long as possible. I made this arrangement “Spring is here” with Setsuko Saito (69), a friend from … Continue reading

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Executive of ruling Liberal Democratic Party expresses hope for China to ease ban on Japanese food imports

BEIJING, April 30 – Toshihiro Nikai, secretary-general of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, said during his visit to Beijing he hopes China will relax imports of Japanese farm products introduced following the 2011 Fukushima nuclear accident. “There is hope,” Nikai said during a news conference held on April 29 at the Japanese Embassy in Beijing. “We will offer cooperation as much as we can to pave the way (for this goal).” “Responding to many farmers’ expectations is one of the party’s most important issues,” he told reporters, stressing the LDP’s stance of attaching importance on agricultural policies. During his visit to China between April 24 and 29, Nikai urged the … Continue reading

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Japan ends SBS tenders to buy Australian rice for fiscal 2018

TOKYO, March 16 ― Japan has ended the simultaneous buy and sell (SBS) tending system to import table rice from Australia for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2018, through the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) without the U.S., also known as TPP-11. The last tender for the fiscal 2018 was held on March 14 and 15, reaching a total of 1,120 metric tons, according to the agriculture ministry. That was about a half of quota that Australia was given for the first implementation year of the TPP-11, which went into effect on Dec. 30, 2018, with six signatories: Japan, Mexico, Singapore, New Zealand, Canada and Australia. From the second year starting … Continue reading

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Trump calls on Abe to abolish tariffs on U.S. farm produce, determined to reach agreement on bilateral trade talks

WASHINGTON, April 28 – In a meeting with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on April 26 (April 27 Japan time) at the White House, U.S. President Donald Trump pushed Japan to end tariffs on U.S. agricultural products in the bilateral trade talks. Trump expressed determination to reach an agreement, indicating a deal might be reached by late May. Tokyo reiterated the need to proceed with the talks based on the joint statement issued by the two countries last September which stated that “with regard to agricultural, forestry, and fishery products, outcomes related to market access as reflected in Japan’s previous economic partnership agreements constitute the maximum level.” The Japanese officials said … Continue reading

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