Category Archives: Farm Policy

Japan sets up group to get young people excited about farming

TOKYO, Dec. 18 — The agriculture ministry has set up a working group to discuss how to make farming an appealing career choice for the young generation amid the sector’s widespread labor shortage in Japan. The move coincides with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe launching “work-style” reforms as part of his high-profile administration’s agenda. The job offers to applicant ratio in the agricultural sector was 1.63 in 2016. That was higher than the average of all industrial sectors at 1.39, pointing to a labor shortage in the agricultural sector. As Japan’s population of older people is growing at an unprecedented rate, the farming industry is facing a severe shortage of young … Continue reading

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Japan’s pork imports to break record in 2017 after PED impact

TOKYO, Dec. 10 — Japan’s pork imports will likely break the record this year, as domestic pork production is slowly recovering following the 2014 outbreaks of porcine epidemic diarrhea (PED), data from the finance ministry has shown. PED is a viral disease that has a high fatality rate for infected piglets. “The PED outbreak has caused a decrease in the number of birth rate per sow,” the Japan Pork Producers Association (JPPA) said. Japanese pork imports rose 7% to 763,593 metric tons in the 10 months that ended October 31, 2017, compared to the same period the previous year. The volume surpassed the pace for the record breaking 2005 period. … Continue reading

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Japan’s farm minister urges change in attitude from JA group

TOKYO, Dec. 17 — Japan’s Agriculture Minister Ken Saito has called for a change in attitude from the Japan Agricultural Cooperatives (JA), the nation’s largest farmers’ group, in order to implement agricultural reforms. “I have been in touch with JA officials over the years,” Saito said at a Dec. 15 event organized by the Japan Agriculture Journalists’ Association in Tokyo. “My impression is that they are simply lacking a sense of crisis. “They must change. They have to be conscious of what they are doing. The ministry, the ruling party and the farmers’ group… we all need to work together to move ahead,” he said. Saito, a former official from … Continue reading

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Japan’s ruling LDP members setting to promote pickle exports

TOKYO, Dec. 7 — Members of Japan’s governing Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) have set up a group to promote pickles in overseas markets on the back of growing interest in Japanese cuisine, apart from that old icon sushi. Tsukemono are Japanese vegetables preserved in pickling ingredients such as salt, sake or vinegar, giving a delicious and crunchy taste. The LDP group, consisting of 23 members, will propose a policy to support farmers who grow the key vegetables of tsukemono. These include Japanese radish and Chinese cabbage. It will also propose a program to create jobs in the tsukemono industry at a time the domestic market has been shrinking. Japanese tsukemono … Continue reading

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Japan unveils final list of GI for foods in EU trade agreement

TOKYO, Dec. 16 — The agriculture ministry has unveiled a final list of food names that will be protected under geographical indications (GI) in the recently agreed trade deal between Japan and the EU. The list aims to help farmers from both Japan and the EU to exclusively market their own products, but which the United States may call protectionism. GI is a rule that requires a product to come from a particular geographical area, and it must meet various quality criteria in order to be called by its name. Being granted GI status, it allows for regional producers to monopolize the use of famous area names, while other producers … Continue reading

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