Category Archives: Farm Policy

More than 150 hectares of Japan’s forestlands acquired by foreign firms in 2019: forestry agency

TOKYO, Jun. 30 – Forestlands in Japan acquired by foreign firms totaled 163 hectares in 2019, the total area topping 150 hectares for seven years in a row since 2013, according to the Forestry Agency. Eighty percent of foreign companies which obtained forestlands said they made the purchase to hold the forests as assets. In order to mitigate concern among local residents, the agency is asking buyers to present the purpose of purchasing forests. The agency has established a forestland clearing approval system which requires companies to obtain approval from prefectural governors to clear forestlands of a hectare or more. The governors give approval to projects that involve forest clearing … Continue reading

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Japan’s municipal governments see 20% decline in agriculture, forestry and fisheries staff numbers

TOKYO, May 29 – The number of agriculture, forestry, and fisheries staff at local and prefecture governments keeps declining. According to the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries of Japan, the number of officials in charge of the primary sector in municipal and prefecture governments dropped by more than 20% in 15 years. In 2019, the number of officials in general administrative jobs increased slightly, but the officials working to support the primary sector declined notably. It’s essential to enhance local governments’ structure, train more individuals, and improve work efficiency to solve problems and assist people in the primary industry. Yet the reality is vise versa. The statistics are based … Continue reading

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Japanese government to strengthen support on exports of food items consumed at home amid COVID-19 pandemic

TOKYO, June 20 – The Japanese government on June 19 presented measures to boost exports of farm produce and food items fit for consumption at home, as people in many countries are shifting to having meals at home amid the new coronavirus outbreak. As the sales of delivery food and online shopping of food items have been on a rise, the government confirmed at a meeting of a task force on exports of agricultural, forestry and fisheries products and food items its plan to support product development and establishment of processing and shipment facilities to respond to the trend. Since it is difficult for people to travel across national borders, … Continue reading

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Japan steadfast on not negotiating further on farm produce under trade agreement with U.S.: farm minister

TOKYO, June 20 – Agriculture minister Taku Eto reiterated on June 19 that agricultural products will not be subject to additional negotiations under the Japan-U.S. trade agreement that entered into force in January. Farm produce “will not be taken up” in the negotiations, Eto stressed at a regular news conference. “Thorough discussions have already been made and a final agreement was made” on the issue, he said. The bilateral trade agreement to reduce tariffs on agricultural and industrial products took effect in January, and the Japanese and U.S. governments had agreed to conclude consultations within four months after the date of entry into force to start the next round of … Continue reading

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Cases of travelers illegally bringing meat products into Japan reach record 110,000 in 2019

TOKYO, June 12 – The number of cases of overseas travelers illegally bringing in meat products to Japan reached a record high of roughly 110,000 in 2019, up 17 percent from a year before, according to the agriculture ministry’s preliminary data. The increase was higher than the 2 percent year-on-year rise in the number of visitors from abroad. The number of cases this year has been low because of a decline in foreign visitors amid the COVID-19 outbreak, but the ministry’s Animal Quarantine Service plans to strengthen measures at ports of entry to prevent livestock infection. Among the total of 110,058 cases reported last year, nearly half, or 50,456, involved … Continue reading

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