Author Archives: The Japan Agrinews

【News】Japanese Government to promote campaign of “farm stay tours” in fiscal 2017 (May 14, 2017)

The Japanese Government launches a full-fledged campaign to promote “farm stay tours” at rural communities in agricultural, mountainous and fishery villages. The campaign aims at stimulating new demand for tours visiting rural areas which leads to increases in local people’s income and employment. The Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF) has appropriated 5 billion yen in a budget for the “farm stay tour” promotion campaign beginning in fiscal 2017. MAFF’s budget is earmarked to subsidize “village revitalization bodies” such as non-profit organizations and other local residents’ associations initiating a farm stay business. The subsidy will partly meet costs of working out tour programs in respective rural villages as well … Continue reading

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【News】Agricultural Competitiveness Enhancement Support Act enacted in Japan (May 13, 2017)

A bill for Agricultural Competitiveness Enhancement Support Act was passed in a plenary session of the House of Councilors on May 12 by a majority vote, mostly led by members of ruling parties. Shinzo Abe’s administration has been advocating an enactment of the bill as a centerpiece of agricultural reform-related bills, which aims at proceeding realignment of the agricultural industry so as to promote price reduction of farm inputs as well as streamline distribution of agricultural products. Yuji Yamamoto, Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries told the press after the Cabinet meeting on the same day that his Ministry will make efforts to draft ministerial ordinances for the Act as … Continue reading

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【News】Wall Street Journal article calling on Japan to import more potatoes creates a stir (May 15, 2017)

Amid the recent shortage of potatoes used to produce potato chips in Japan, a Wall Street Journal article has caused a stir by calling on the nation to increase its imports of potatoes. Japan’s imports of potatoes are controlled by quarantine inspections, but an opinion piece published by the major U.S. newspaper in late April criticized the phytosanitary issues as “unjustified import restrictions.” Some are concerned that such criticisms could lead to stronger pressure by the U.S. government on Japan to relax quarantine measures in the future bilateral economic dialogue. The article titled “Japan’s Potato Panic” says Japan’s quarantine procedure taken to prevent entry of harmful pests “was part of … Continue reading

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【News】Foreign Ministry and U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization promote safety of Fukushima-made fruit (May 11, 2017)

The Foreign Ministry held a tasting event of sweets made from Fukushima-grown fruit in Tokyo’s Chuo Ward on May 10 to promote their safety, inviting Jose Graziano da Silva, director general of the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization. The ministry served two kinds of sweets made from Japanese pears and apples produced in Fukushima which won the grand prize in a sweets contest organized by the city of Fukushima since 2014. “At the moment, we don’t see any reason to raise concern about the safety of (Fukushima-made) food,” the director general said, giving high marks to the sweets he tasted. “Six years after the (2011 nuclear) accident, we continue to … Continue reading

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【News】Explore new ways to treasure every encounter with Japanese tea (May 7, 2017)

The number of unique Japanese tea shops is increasing. Those include a shop specialized in flavored tea and a café that serves cups of hand-drip Japanese tea. They are contributing to the expansion of the Japanese tea follower base. Ocharaka is a tea shop located in Nihonbashi, Tokyo. A huge shelf of wooden tea boxes with name tags such as “Baked Apple” and “Rose” occupies one wall of the shop. Inside the boxes are 50 kinds of flavored tea leaves produced based on Japanese tea leaves and dried fruits and flower petals. The shop owner is Stephane Danton, a 52-year-old ex-wine sommelier from France. After he came to Japan, he … Continue reading

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