Category Archives: Others

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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Prices of black grapes rise as production drops amid increasing popularity of Shine Muscat

TOKYO, Oct. 21 – Wholesale prices of black grapes such as Kyoho are rising recently, with the average prices of all black varieties marking a record high this year. The price increase is attributable to the aging of farmers, as well as drops in production of black grapes, as more farmers are shifting to production of popular high-priced green grape variety Shine Muscat. “(Black grapes) have often been offered at bargain prices to consumers, but they are becoming more of a luxury item,” a market dealer said. Meanwhile, imports of black grapes are rising sharply amid shortage of domestic products. The average wholesale price of black grapes sold by seven … Continue reading

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Tokyo’s Toyosu wholesale market opens with traditional auction

TOKYO, Oct. 12 ― After two years of delays, a new wholesale food market, called the Toyosu market, finally opened its doors in Tokyo on Oct. 11, replacing the aging Tsukiji market. The market relocation comes two years later than previously planned, because additional safety work was required to control soil pollution at the new site. The new market features cutting-edge equipment in enclosed facilities at an area of 400,000 square meters. That makes it easier to manage temperatures for refrigerated and frozen products. The total shipment of fruits and vegetables for the first auction at the new Toyosu market totaled 2,533 metric tons. That was three times higher than … Continue reading

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Japan launches a rocket to deliver fresh food to space station

TOKYO, Oct. 10 ― Astronauts at the International Space Station (ISS) have successfully received a rocket carrying the Konotori-7 cargo, which contains Japanese-grown fresh fruits and vegetables. A broadcast of the rocket launch can be viewed on YouTube. All foods that have been sent to the ISS are certified by the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) as Japanese space food for crew members at the ISS. The JAXA started its Japanese space food certification program, aiming to improve food situation for astronauts in space. In order to get certified, a product must meet rigorous standards such as strict hygiene management and long-term storage without refrigeration. Some farmers see requirements for … Continue reading

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Japan is haunted by chaos of storm as Typhoon Trami hits

MIYAZAKI, Oct. 2 ― Typhoon Trami hammered Japan’s southern islands, including Kyushu, before making high winds and heavy rain in mainland Japan during the final weekend of September. As a result of Trami, there have been widespread power failures in Kyushu and Okinawa islands, local utility companies said. The storm has moved out of the area, leaving behind massive destruction, including the region’s agriculture industry. Yoshiufmi Inoue, an 80-year-old farmer in Miyazaki prefecture, found some of his dairy barn’s roof disappeared and a falling utility pole crashed into another part of the roof. “I was very worried if my cows would be electrocuted,” until the local utility cut the power … Continue reading

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