Author Archives: The Japan Agrinews

EU publishes key elements of JP-EU trade deal; Tokyo is silent

TOKYO, July 12 — The EU has published an overall picture of the trade deal with Japan after a compromise was reached on increased market access for EU farm products in exchange for Japanese autos. By contrast, Tokyo has no plan to disclose its view, with government officials saying “it’s because the draft has yet to be finalized.” Japan’s opposition parties, including the Democratic Party, say they will demand from the government the same level of disclosure as the EU. The European Commission posted on its website a document, titled Key elements of the EU-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement, dated on July 6, the day of the announcement made by both … Continue reading

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Japan sets up consolidated cross-agency team on trade deals

TOKYO, July 12 — Following a broad trade accord between Japan and EU, the Japanese government has launched a new consolidated headquarters that presides trade policymaking in a horizontal approach across government agencies. The aim is to facilitate Japan’s early entry into trade agreements, including the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the Japan-EU Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA). The first meeting at the new government headquarters was to take place on July 14 to outline countermeasure programs that help farm producers adjust to increased EU agricultural food products entering Japan. Economic Revitalization Minister Nobuteru Ishihara, who is also the minister in charge of the TPP, said at a press conference on July … Continue reading

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How Japan and the EU agreed on slashing cheese tariffs to seal an EPA

TOKYO, July 8 – “We’ve reached political agreement at ministerial level on an EU-Japan trade deal. We now recommend to leaders to confirm this at summit,” European Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom tweeted on July 5 after meeting Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida in Brussels. The negotiations ended all too soon. The meeting between Kishida and Malmstrom, which some speculated would go on until late at night, was finished in an hour or so. The two announced that they reached consensus on the Japan-EU Economic Partnership Agreement and painted eyes on daruma dolls to mark the achievement. All happened before the delegation of Liberal Democratic Party lawmakers arrived in Brussels. Three days … Continue reading

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Kyushu deluge makes rivers, agricultural fields, and greenhouses flooded

Fukuoka and Oita, July 7 ― Torrential rain destroyed the northern part of Kyushu on July 5 and 6, 2017, causing flood and mudslides. Some people were confirmed dead and many others missing. In Asakura, Fukuoka Prefecture, and Hita, Oita Prefecture, people saw record-high precipitation, and farmers suffered very severe damage on their fields and greenhouses in the floods and the mudslides. Local agricultural cooperatives and other entities are urging to obtain concrete information, but it’s been still difficult to have the full picture of the damage.  Damage of unprecedented level (in Asakura, Fukuoka Prefecture)  “The landscape is totally different, and we are left with no recovery in sight.” It … Continue reading

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【Series】 Our No no Ikebana: Eiko Kotaka from Hadano City, Kanagawa Prefecture(July 7)

Today, let’s hear from Eiko Kotaka, 75, from Hadano City, Kanagawa Prefecture, about how she enjoys No no Ikebana. “I began No no Ikebana two years ago. I like making an arrangement at the beginning of a season, featuring seasonal vegetables and flowers. I use something like a two-legged daikon radish and loquats on a branch and with leaves to make my arrangements look as natural and lively as possible. With this arrangement, I wanted to reproduce a scene in the good old days when we hand spun cotton. This is like a long, complex story of cotton-making that stars from harvesting cotton and ends in spinning a thread. I … Continue reading

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