Category Archives: Others

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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Apple thefts grow in Aomori; may targets of organized gangs

AOMORI, Nov. 13 ― Apple thefts are on the rise in Aomori prefecture, Japan’s largest apple growing region. “Growers are feeling wretched after losing fruits of their labors,” said an official from the JA Tsugaru Hirosaki, a regional farmers cooperative in Aomori. According to the Aomori police, five theft cases have been reported since October, totaling 13,000 apples stolen as of Nov. 12, including 500,000 yen worth of Fuji apples in Hirosaki city and 400,000 yen worth of Fuji apples in Tsugaru city. “And reports to police may be the tip of the iceberg,” the official said. Incidents include a series of daylight thefts, and farmers sometimes can’t notify police … Continue reading

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【Opinion】 Cooperatives should work to raise public awareness of Sustainable Development Goals (Nov. 19, 2018)

[By Yuichiro Nakagawa, professor emeritus of Meiji University] In September 2015, the United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution “Transforming our world: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development,” which states the member countries’ “unwavering commitment” to achieve the 17 Sustainable Development Goals “to stimulate action over the next 15 years in areas of critical importance for humanity and the planet.” Hiroko Kuniya, the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)’s National Goodwill Ambassador for Japan, discusses in a round-table talk published in a cooperative studies quarterly magazine “Niji” three reasons why the SDGs were created and how they differ from the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) set by the U.N. member states … Continue reading

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A Hokkaido dairy farmer closes his farm following earthquake, writes poems to show gratitude

HOKKAIDO, Nov. 6 – “No more sound of buckets No more sound of cows mooing No more sound of milkers No more sound of bulk coolers Every sound of production is completely gone Silence Desolation Tears Tears” Shoichi Narita, 77, a dairy farmer of Nemuro, Hokkaido, wrote this poem to thank his cows, his farm and his fellow farmers who supported him, after he sold all his cows and gave up farming in October. Narita had been running his farm which his grandfather reclaimed in the Meiji Era, keeping 120 cows on a 100-hectare land. But following a major earthquake that hit Hokkaido in September, Narita, his wife Hiroko, 73, … Continue reading

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