Author Archives: The Japan Agricultural News

AEON cuts Australian beef prices ahead of TPP-11’s enforcement

TOKYO, Dec. 7 – Japanese retail giant AEON Co. announced on Dec. 6 it will cut prices of Australian beef by a maximum of 20 percent starting Dec. 7, ahead of the enforcement of the 11-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade agreement on Dec. 30. The move, which is likely to be followed by other retail firms, indicates a trend toward cutting prices of imported products along with the expected declines in tariff rates after the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership, also known as TPP-11, comes into effect. AEON will sell its private label Australian beefsteaks at 518 yen per 100 grams, down 20 percent for sirloin and down … Continue reading

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[Our Noh no Ikebana] “See how grains are bending their heads down,” says Shihoko Matsuo, 78, from Hachimantai City, Iwate Prefecture

“The charm of Noh no Ikebana is in how we can enjoy it with friends. There is no particular style, and we are free to do anything. Vegetables in funny shapes have characters, and they are excellent materials for the arrangements. I think of the growth path of each agricultural product and try to express their stories in my arrangements. I began to pay attention to the joy of finding buds, the beauty of veggie flowers, and the fragility of life even during the daily usual agricultural works. When I find out-of-the-size-and-shape vegetables, I feel happy and start to think about how I can use them in my arrangements. I … Continue reading

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Japan’s new “Sugoi” apple: size is not so big, but tastes great

KUROISHI, Nov. 9 ― Apple growers in Aomori prefecture are geared toward exports. The regional farmers cooperatives in Aomori, including the JA Tsugaru Mirai, have reduced prices of Japanese apples by exporting smaller-sized “Sugoi” apples. Sugoi means terrific or excellent in Japanese. Typically, the size of Japanese apples is big, but Aomori apple growers started selling smaller-sized one so the prices is lower, allowing them to tap into new markets in Southeast Asia. The growers named it Sugoi apple, because it tastes great, even though it may not be as big as Fuji apple. The farmers’ groups also have made a special portable package, which has a portrayal of Japanese … Continue reading

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DVD on what’s behind cheap import bananas published

TOKYO, Nov. 16 – “Bitter Truth of Sweet Bananas,” a DVD on the reality of the banana production in the Philippines, was released by Pacific Asia Resource Center (PARC). The 78-minutes documentary film about the bananas produced for the Japanese market features the predicaments of the local banana farmers with agrichemicals aerial spraying and unfair contracts with enterprises, for example, and the futures of the initiatives to support the local farmers. PARC calls the public to see the film and “think about the relationships between Japan and the Philippines and also about the food.” The theme of documentary is the problems on the production site relating to, for example, agricultural … Continue reading

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Kenya’s cooperative delegate visits Japan Cooperative Alliance

TOKYO, Nov. 6 ― A delegate of Kenya’s cooperative societies has visited the Japan Cooperative Alliance (JCA), an umbrella organization that seeks to promote inter-cooperative collaborations, to learn how cooperatives work together in Japan. The JCA was officially launched in April this year to lobby for pro-cooperative policies and provide better information and education about cooperatives to the general public. Japan has one of the world’s largest cooperative sectors. That includes the Japan Agriculture (JA) group, the agriculture co-op, the Japanese Consumer Cooperative Union (JCCU), the consumer co-op with more than 28 million-member owners, and Zenkyoren, the mutual insurance co-op. The Kenyan delegate also visited the JCCU, the Japanese Health … Continue reading

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