Category Archives: Others

【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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【News】Japan court rejects citizens’ claim that TPP is unconstitutional(June 8, 2017)

The Tokyo district court has dismissed a lawsuit brought by a civil society group that claims the Japanese government has violated the constitution by agreeing to the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) deal. The court on June 7 also rejected the group’s request to block the government from signing the pact, explaining this is in the realm of executive power and a civil lawsuit cannot stop it. Moreover the judge said the plaintiffs failed to state a claim that the deal undermines basic human rights, because the TPP has not yet come into force. The group of nearly 1,600 people includes farmers, workers and healthcare professionals. It filed the case against the … Continue reading

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【News】Local governments turning to YouTubers to attract tourists (May 18, 2017)

An increasing number of local governments are turning to YouTubers – people who make money by creating online videos – to promote their local specialties and tourist spots. Some videos by popular YouTubers have attracted more than 1 million views, showing the power of social media in marketing efforts targeted at young people. The city of Iki located in Iki Island in Nagasaki Prefecture posted a video on YouTube in December 2016 to promote local specialties such as Iki wagyu beef and sea urchins, the products that are offered as gifts to people who donated money to the city under the hometown donation system. Yuka Kinoshita, 32, a popular YouTuber … Continue reading

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