Category Archives: Farm Policy

Japan to accept more foreign workers in new immigration rules

TOKYO, Oct. 13 ― The Japanese government has unveiled a plan to accept more foreign blue-collar workers in April next year to tackle the labor shortage in agriculture and some other industries in the face of the country’s aging population. This is a drastic move for Japan, which is known for its strict immigration rules. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe held a cabinet meeting on Oct. 12 to outline the draft legislation. Under the draft, foreign nationals with skills in sectors identified as facing labor shortage will be granted a new visa status. The new visa status has two different types of work permit. Type One will allows foreign workers with … Continue reading

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Japanese apple exports recover in 2017 to near record levels

TOKYO, Oct. 14 ― Japan’s exports of apples in 2017 climbed 20 percent in volume year over year, representing the second-largest on record, as traders have been trying to reach new markets such as Southeast Asia. Fresh apple exports from September 2017 to August 2018 reached 33,150 metric tons, but not as much as the 36,304 metric tons achieved in the record year 2015, according to data from the finance ministry. Apples, in fact, have become a star on the Japanese fresh fruit exporting stage, as Taiwanese and Chinese consumers have enjoyed the big-size fruit as the Lunar New Year’s gifts. The increases slowed only when Japan had a short … Continue reading

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Japan food exports rise in August, led by wagyu beef and fruits

TOKYO, Oct. 12 ― Japan’s food exports rose for the sixth consecutive month in August, thanks to largely to appetite for wagyu beef and fruits in neighboring Asian countries, official data has showed. But the data also showed the export growth of some agricultural products such as rice and Japanese green tea slowed on sluggish demand. Growers need to tap into middle-class households, not only wealthy consumers, experts said. Total shipments of agriculture products, processed foods and seafood soared 14% to 68.8 billion yen in August, which was 8.3 billion yen higher in the same month a year earlier, according to the agriculture ministry. The primary agricultural products, which constitute … Continue reading

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JA group Hokkaido aims to boost local rice exports to China

TOKYO, Sept. 30 ― Japanese farmers’ group in northern Japan is set to ship locally-grown rice to China in early October, after a rice mill and two fumigation warehouses in Hokkaido received the Chinese government’s approval. Beijing requires that imported rice be milled and fumigated at facilities certified by the Chinese government. Previously, Japan had only one rice mill in Kanagawa prefecture, near Tokyo, and two fumigation warehouses, approved by China. But it has changed since Chinese Premier Li Keqiang made a visit to Japan in May and agreed to authorize two new mills and five more fumigation warehouses for exports to China, a key step to access more Japanese … Continue reading

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Japan’s beef imports in Jan-Aug rise highest level since 2001

TOKYO, Sept. 28 ― Japan’s beef imports from January to August increased to the highest level since 2001, when beef imports soared after the discovery of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), or mad cow disease, in a Tokyo suburb. The increase in imports this year came as higher tariffs on U.S. frozen beef imports expired in March and Australian beef tries to gain market share through a free trade agreement with Japan. According to the finance ministry, beef imports in the eight months through August rose 6% to 404,490 metric tons from the same period a year ago. Australian and the U.S. beef account for 90 percent of total imports. Imports … Continue reading

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