Category Archives: Farm Policy

Fukushima farmers promote local produce for Tokyo Olympics

TOKYO, Jan. 24 ― As Japan gears up to welcome the world the Olympic Games in Tokyo in 2020, Fukushima’s farmers are pushing their locally grown produce to be served at the world’s biggest sport event. The Fukushima prefectural government held a food event to promote its locally grown agricultural products, such as rice and wagyu beef, in Tokyo on Jan. 23, hoping to remove its stigma associated with the 2011 nuclear disaster that hit hard the region. According to prefectural officials, about 300 people from food vendors, caterers and restaurants attended the event. Fukushima has set a target of more than 51 percent of local produce to be certified … Continue reading

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Japan’s farmland area shrinks for four straight years: survey

TOKYO, Jan. 22 ― Japan’s farmland area has declined for the fourth consecutive year, as fields have been abandoned and are no longer cultivated, according to a survey conducted by the agriculture ministry. The farmland increased to 4.06 million hectares in 2013, but it has now gone down to 4.02 million hectares in 2017, with a 10,000 hectare decline a year before. It is partly because farmers get older and young generations aren’t much interested in getting into low-paying farming business in Japan. The Japanese government has set a target to improve self-sufficiency ratio to 40 percent as well as to boost farmland area of 4.4 million hectares by 2025. … Continue reading

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Japan’s beef imports surge since TPP-11 takes effect: minister

TOKYO, Jan. 26 ― Japan’s beef imports have surged since the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) without the U.S., known as TPP-11, went into effect on Dec. 3o, 2018, traders say, illustrating meat exporters enjoy the new mega trade deal in the Japanese market. Since official data are not yet available, “we don’t know how much the TPP has an impact on a jump in beef imports, but we are keeping an eye on it very closely,” said Agriculture Minister Takamori Yoshikawa at a Jan. 25 press conference. Under the TPP, the Japanese tariffs on beef will fall to 9 percent, a shift that is expected that Japanese consumers may turn to … Continue reading

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EU to lift restrictions on farm products from Japan: minister

TOKYO, Jan. 21 ― Japanese Agriculture Minister Takamori Yoshikawa has discussed with the EU’s Agriculture Commissioner Phil Hogan and Commissioner for Health and Food Safety Vytenis Andriukaitis over regulatory barriers for Japanese farm exports to the EU. “They told me that they are working on processes that enable Japanese meat, dairy products and eggs to enter the EU market,” Yoshikawa told reporters after the meeting in Berlin on Jan.19. The EU-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) is set to come into effect on Feb. 1. The trade deal is dubbed “cars for cheese” because of business opportunities for Japanese carmakers and EU farmers, means EU duties on Japanese vehicles and parts … Continue reading

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Japan develops global pre-harvest crop yield forecast method

TSUKUBA, Jan. 17 ― A group of Japanese researchers has developed a new method that predicts global crop production three months before harvest, a step forward to ensure food security. The Institute for Agro-Environmental Sciences, a research arm of the Tsukuba-based National Agriculture and Food Research Organization (NARO), said the new method aims to help making informed purchasing decisions for staple crops, setting appropriate food reserve level. The announcement came at a time when climate extremes could reduce crop output and trigger food price spikes. Climate change without adaptation can potentially affect farm livelihood and all aspects of food security. For example, Japan heavily depends on imported crops for animal … Continue reading

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