Author Archives: The Japan Agricultural News

More than 150 hectares of Japan’s forestlands acquired by foreign firms in 2019: forestry agency

TOKYO, Jun. 30 – Forestlands in Japan acquired by foreign firms totaled 163 hectares in 2019, the total area topping 150 hectares for seven years in a row since 2013, according to the Forestry Agency. Eighty percent of foreign companies which obtained forestlands said they made the purchase to hold the forests as assets. In order to mitigate concern among local residents, the agency is asking buyers to present the purpose of purchasing forests. The agency has established a forestland clearing approval system which requires companies to obtain approval from prefectural governors to clear forestlands of a hectare or more. The governors give approval to projects that involve forest clearing … Continue reading

Posted in Farm Policy, Others | Comments Off on More than 150 hectares of Japan’s forestlands acquired by foreign firms in 2019: forestry agency

Japan’s municipal governments see 20% decline in agriculture, forestry and fisheries staff numbers

TOKYO, May 29 – The number of agriculture, forestry, and fisheries staff at local and prefecture governments keeps declining. According to the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries of Japan, the number of officials in charge of the primary sector in municipal and prefecture governments dropped by more than 20% in 15 years. In 2019, the number of officials in general administrative jobs increased slightly, but the officials working to support the primary sector declined notably. It’s essential to enhance local governments’ structure, train more individuals, and improve work efficiency to solve problems and assist people in the primary industry. Yet the reality is vise versa. The statistics are based … Continue reading

Posted in Farm Policy, Food & Agriculture | Comments Off on Japan’s municipal governments see 20% decline in agriculture, forestry and fisheries staff numbers

Japanese Tatami yoga mat building buzz overseas

FUKUOKA, May 24 -Colorful tatami-like yoga mats made of Japanese igusa soft rush grass are becoming popular worldwide. They have high moisture absorbency properties and odor eliminating effect. “Their good aroma makes it easier to do nasal breathing, which is an essential part of yoga,” and “their surface never gets sticky even when you are sweaty,” some said. The product is called “Tatami Yoga.” It’s designed and commercialized by Ikehiko Corporation, an igusa product planner and producer based in Oki Town, Fukuoka Prefecture. The mats are made of igusa grown in Kumamoto and Fukuoka Prefectures. Igusa, dyed in red, blue, and all other beautiful colors, is woven in a traditional … Continue reading

Posted in Others, Photos | Comments Off on Japanese Tatami yoga mat building buzz overseas

Prerequisites for market expansion of organic farm products in Japan:Case study of agricultural cooperatives and producers’ groups

July 1st, 2019 Norinchukin Research Institute Co., Ltd. HORIUCHI Yoshihiko, Research Counselor ■Abstract In recent years, while the area under organic cultivation and the market for organic farm products have been posting double-digit growth worldwide, the growth in Japan has been slow and the organic market in the nation remains a niche, still small compared with those of Western countries. This is attributable to various factors, including the difficulty of maintaining stable production of organic products in Japan due to weather conditions. Production costs are high as organic agriculture requires a great deal of labor to weed and distribution expenses are also high since production areas are scattered and are … Continue reading

Posted in Research | Comments Off on Prerequisites for market expansion of organic farm products in Japan:Case study of agricultural cooperatives and producers’ groups

Kanagawa-based botanical garden creating a buzz with “one banana leaf” social distancing proposal

KANAGAWA, Jun. 23 – “Keep one-banana-leaf social distancing with others”. A botanical garden in Kamakura City, Kanagawa Prefecture, says so in its poster it recently created. It was posted on the walls and the Internet for encouraging visitors to maintain social distancing as a preventative measure against the novel coronavirus, catching the attention of many, especially among social networking service (SNS) users. Ofuna Botanical Garden in Kanagawa Prefecture had been closed since April 10 after the state of emergency declaration, but it reopened on June 9. On the same day, the botanical garden posted a picture of two staff members standing apart from each other with a long big banana … Continue reading

Posted in Others, Photos | Comments Off on Kanagawa-based botanical garden creating a buzz with “one banana leaf” social distancing proposal