Category Archives: Others

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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【Opinion】Slow and steady wins the race – educating the public about cooperatives (June 19, 2017)

[By Meiji University Vice President Toshikatsu Yanagisawa] On Nov. 30, 2016, UNESCO added cooperatives to the list of intangible cultural assets. The list describes cooperatives as entities that “allow for community building through shared interests and values creating innovative solutions to societal problems, from generating employment and assisting seniors to urban revitalization and renewable energy projects.” The cooperatives were listed because they were recognized as communities that helps “to enrich cultural diversity and human creativity,” as stated in the UNESCO Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage. Cooperatives has built trust in the global society in the current century, as can be seen in the 2001 U.N. Guidelines … Continue reading

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【News】 Akiba maids plant pakchi at rooftop veggie garden at Japan Agricultural Newspaper building (Jun. 16, 2017)

On June 15, 2017, an Akihabara-based NPO group Licolita planted pakchi (coriander) seeds as well as young basil and mint on a rooftop garden at the Japan Agricultural Newspaper building in Akihabara, Tokyo. The event is part of Akihabara Vegetable Garden Project, which is now in the ninth year. For the first seven years, the environmental NPO grew rice in buckets. However, starting from last year, it’s growing herbs that can be eaten soon after harvesting. Five “Akiba maids”, who are waitresses working at costume play restaurants and cafes in Akihabara, also took part in the event. Last year, all their pakchi was lost because of the typhoons and dry … Continue reading

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【Opinion】Let the rainbow of cooperatives shine (June 5, 2017)

[By Taichi Kitagawa, Professor of Fukui Prefectural University] “No rain, no rainbows.” This is a Hawaiian saying which is used to describe bad times mean good times are coming. Japan’s agricultural cooperatives (JAs) have been hit by torrential rain in recent years. The government’s intervention in farm coops’ reform efforts goes against the cooperative principles of autonomy and independence which was adopted by the International Co-operative Alliance at its 31st general assembly in 1995. Under the name of growth strategy, the government is trying to forcibly turn JAs into mere entities specializing in agricultural business. Such government control aimed at taking away comprehensiveness and diversity from JAs is a challenge … Continue reading

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【News】Economic damage by TPP in Hokkaido prefecture estimated 116.9 billion yen by regional agricultural institute (June 5, 2017)

The Hokkaido Regional Agricultural Institute has announced its latest estimate of 116.9 billion yen for an economic damage to be occurred in Hokkaido prefecture by putting the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) free trade pact into effect. The estimation has been made on the basis of the broad TPP agreement announced by its member countries in October 2015, as well as on an amount of decreases in Hokkaido agricultural, forestry and fishery production that was estimated as 59.8 billion yen by the Hokkaido prefectural government in February 2016. The total economic loss by the TPP free trade deal in Hokkaido is broken down into 72.5 billion yen, an estimated loss of the … Continue reading

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