【News】 Unauthorized uses of Japanese F 1 hybrid strawberry “Yotsuboshi” in foreign countries to be blocked with new plant patent protection system (Jan. 15, 2017)

Kyushu Okinawa Agricultural Research Center of the National Agriculture and Food Research Organization or NARO headquartered at Tsukuba city in Ibaraki prefecture has decided to introduce a new system to prevent unauthorized commercialization of Japanese patented strawberry varieties in foreign countries. NARO’s Research Center, based at Koshi city in Kumamoto prefecture, agreed to collaborate in implementing the system with three prefectural governments of Mie, Kagawa and Chiba, which succeeded in jointly developing a new strawberry variety named “Yotsuboshi” (literally, four stars). Under the new system of protecting strawberry breeders’ right, NARO’s Research Center and three prefectural governments will recruit a cooperative corporation in respective foreign countries. The cooperative corporation will … Continue reading

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【News】 Japan’s exports of agricultural, fishery and food products in January-November 2016 level off due to decreased export of fishery products (Jan. 13, 2017)

A total amount of Japan’s exports of agricultural, forestry, fishery and food products has been on track for growth in recent years. In 2016, however, it is likely to level off. The exports of those products amounted to 669.9 billion yen in January-November 2016, only 1 billion yen or 0.1 percent up over the relevant period of 2015, the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF) announced on January 12. Sales of farm products such as rice, beef, and green tea have been continuously increasing in overseas markets. It is anticipated, however, that exports of fishery products will experience a slump during many years to come because a poor catch … Continue reading

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【News】 Bonsai Fest in Saitama City broadens appeal of Japanese bonsai tradition (Dec. 4, 2016)

In November 26, 2016, a fest for the bonsai world of next generation was held in Saitama city, Saitama Prefecture. The city, a home of the ancient Japanese art form of making miniature landscapes of ornamental trees, hosted the fest in order to increase bonsai enthusiasts and bring additional excitement to the city with a number of bonsai nurseries, before it hosts the 8th World Bonsai Convention in April 2017. The event successfully gathered attentions by offering a live performance of a budding bonsai craftsman and unique workshops. The 1st World Bonsai Convention was held in 1989 in former Omiya city, followed by the ones in the U.S., South Korea, … Continue reading

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【News】 Good taste essences are extracted from Japanese green tea much more than from Chinese green tea: NARO’s research reveals (Jan. 12, 2017)

Institute of Fruit Tree and Tea Science of the National Agriculture and Food Research Organization or NARO, headquartered at Tsukuba city in Ibaraki prefecture, found that condensed essences of amino acid, cate-chin and caffeine, making up green tea’s taste of good flavor and bitterness, are extracted into hot water from green tea leaves produced in Japan much more than from those in China. NARO’s Institute hopes that green tea manufacturers will be able to publicize a characteristic feature of tea leaves produced in Japan with a quality of better extraction of essences in the international green tea market. The Institute has made a physical and chemistry research to find out … Continue reading

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【News】 New labeling system to be introduced in Japanese rice flour market this year (Jan. 11, 2017)

Japan’s Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF) will develop a new standard for rice flour, which categorizes the flour according to its utility, for the purpose of increasing consumption of rice flour products such as rice-flour cakes, rice-flour noodles and rice-flour bread. The new standard classifies the rice flour into three types according to the components of rice flour, following a general standard of wheat flour such as “low-gluten flour” and “high-gluten flour.” Rice flour packs attached with a new label of three types will debut in the Japanese market. MAFF aims at stimulating new demands for rice flour by enabling consumers to easily select a proper type of … Continue reading

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