Category Archives: Farm Policy

Counterfeiting Japanese GI food products detected abroad

TOKYO, March 27 — Japanese agricultural brand names are being maliciously used in overseas food markets, an investigation by the agriculture ministry has found. The ministry conducted a year-long investigation to see if there is continuing misuse and counterfeiting at global online shopping sites that mislead consumers on the origin of 48 food products from 46 regions protected by Japan’s geographical indications (GIs). The findings revealed that there were more than 600 counterfeit food products that were produced abroad and falsely labeled with Japanese GIs. For example, there were Chinese-grown “Ichida Gaki,” a brand of persimmon produced in Iida, Nagano prefecture, and Malaysian-produced “Kishu Ume,” plums that are named after … Continue reading

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Japan to probe foreign ownership of agricultural land: minister

TOKYO, March 24 — Japan’s Agriculture Minister Ken Saito has said the government will investigate for the first time if there is any farmland available for sale to overseas buyers. “We will have a good look at foreign ownership in farmland,” Saito told Japan’s upper house agriculture committee on March 23. The nation’s Farmland Act does not permit any businesses or foreigners to buy agricultural land. So, the government has never investigated farmland sales to overseas buyers before. Saito pointed out that Japan has heavily restricted farmland ownership, for example, the majority of shareholders have to be farmers. “In theory, as long as farmland purchases comply with the legislation, foreign … Continue reading

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Japan’s JA group plays critical export role: agriculture minister

TOKYO, March 20 — Japanese Agriculture Minister Ken Saito has said the nation’s largest farmers’ group has a critical role in leading exports of agricultural products as Japan faces a declining population. “We need to take a big push to expand our food exports, but it is difficult for farmers themselves to sell their products globally,” Saito told foreign media at a March 19 meeting. “So, the JA group should take a leading role when it comes to peddling their wares to the world,” he stressed. “That is how the group should reinvent itself now.” The JA group has been a prime target of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s structural changes … Continue reading

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Japanese wagyu beef exports to US remain strong this year

TOKYO, March 24 — Japanese wagyu beef exports to the United States are growing at a rapid pace as traditional Japanese cuisine rides a wave of global popularity. Japanese beef shipments to the U.S. reached 186 metric tons for January through March 19, according to data released by the United States Customs and Border Protection. The volume more than doubled from the same period a year ago, already filling around 93 percent of a 200 metric ton tariff rate quota (TRQ) that is allocated to Japan. “The shipments may exceed the 200 metric ceiling by the end of March,” said an official from a trading company. Japanese wagyu beef exports … Continue reading

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Japan lifts safeguard measure against US frozen beef imports

TOKYO, March 30 — Japan was set to lift its safeguard measure on frozen beef imports from April 1, making the U.S. more competitive with other meat suppliers such as Australia. The agriculture ministry announced March 29 that Tokyo was to reduce the frozen beef tariff rate from 50 percent to 38.5 percent in the fiscal year starting April 1. In August, rising imports of frozen beef triggered the safeguard measure for the remainder of the 2017 fiscal year through March 31. Yet, Japan has retained its safeguard mechanism in the event of a sharp rise in beef imports to exporting countries that do not currently have free trade agreements … Continue reading

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