Category Archives: Others

Japan begins test self-driving of shuttle service on public road

TOCHIGI, Sept. 2 ─ Japan’s transport ministry has tested an autonomous bus on public roads in Tochigi city. The ministry will conduct similar testing in 12 other rural areas this year, with a view to deploying self-driving shuttle services by 2020. With a rapidly ageing and shrinking population in Japan, more municipalities have given up offering public transport services, particularly in mountainous areas. This is why self-driving vehicles are expected to improve transportation access for underserved communities, transforming the way people, goods and services move from one place to another. Transport Minister Keiichi Ishii attended a test-ride event in Tochigi city on Sept. 2, and said: “Through automated driving, we … Continue reading

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Farm damage from Japan’s heavy rain in excess of 100bln yen

TOKYO, Aug. 26 ─ Estimates of agricultural losses caused by heavy rainfall this summer in Japan have risen to 103 billion yen, according to the agriculture ministry. The early estimates in July were about 33 billion yen worth of damages to the farming industry. Based on current information, the loss estimates considered are: farming land and facilities, 56 billion yen; forest crops, 40 billion; agriculture products, 7 billion. The deluge had devastating effects on farmers in affected areas, especially the southern island of Kyushu that was hardest hit after huge floods wrecked hundreds of houses, roads and rice fields. The ministry has announced that it will apply a new farm … Continue reading

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The Japan Agricultural News survey shows government support rate drops to 33 percent, with 70 percent giving low grades to farm policies

TOKYO, Aug. 24 – Thirty-three percent of respondents of The Japan Agricultural News survey supported Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s administration, while 67 percent said they don’t support the administration, the highest disapproval rate since Abe came into power in 2012. As the reason for not supporting the Abe administration, the largest percentage of people – nearly 60 percent – gave their distrust for Abe, apparently having in mind the government’s eagerness to conduct drastic overhaul of the agriculture industry and the lack of sufficient explanation regarding a controversial approval of a new veterinary department by school operator Kake Gauen. The survey was conducted in August on 511 readers of The … Continue reading

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Japan PM Abe’s new cabinet seen advancing agriculture reform

TOKYO, Aug. 4 — Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has appointed a new cabinet at a time when his public approval ratings were tumbling due to accusations of cronyism and missteps by previous cabinet members. Bringing some veteran lawmakers into the new cabinet, Abe dubbed it a “Result-oriented cabinet of professionals” at a press conference on Aug. 3. Abe stressed his top priority is reviving the economy, and said: “Structural reform is the ultimate weapon of Abenomics.” The Central Union of Agricultural Cooperatives, or JA-ZENCHU, has been a prime target of Abe’s structural changes. Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga, one of Abe’s most important allies, has been behind the entire … Continue reading

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Severe flooding across Japan costs 33 bln yen in farm damage

TOKYO, July 26 — Heavy rain and flooding across Japan in July have caused about 33.2 billion yen worth of damage to the farming industry, the Japanese agriculture ministry has said. The southern island of Kyushu was hardest hit by the torrential rain, which killed at least 20 people and forced more than 400,000 people from their homes at the peak of the rain after huge floods wrecked hundreds of houses, roads and rice fields. The ministry announced July 25 that it will apply a new farm recovery scheme that relaxes inspection requirements on farmers in flood-hit areas to help them to restore damaged agricultural land and drainage as quickly … Continue reading

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