Category Archives: Cooperatives

Wakayama farmers promote locally-grown kaki on Halloween

TOKYO, Sept. 16 ― With Halloween looming, a Japanese farmers’ co-operative in Wakayama prefecture has held a promotional event in Tokyo to encourage visitors to eat local kaki. Halloween is marked on Oct. 31 every year, on the eve of the Christian feast of All Saints’ Day. Various Christian traditions developed around the holiday, such as lighting candles and offering prayers to the dead, which are still observed by many people today. And JA Wakayama has capitalized the Christian holiday since 2014, as its locally-grown kaki resembles a pumpkin’s shape and color. Kaki production in Wakayama in 2017 totaled 47,500 metric tons, accounting for about 20 percent of the country’s … Continue reading

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JA group to tap into rising demand for agri-tourism in Japan

TOKYO, Sept. 9 ― As more Japanese people have appreciated for the benefits of a rural life, Japan’s largest farmers’ group will start offering a unique service next year, providing them with access to farms seldom visited by single travelers. Nokyo Tourist Corp., an arm of the Japan agricultural cooperatives, or JA group, will arrange farming experiences for employers who plan corporate training or fringe benefits for their employees. Nokyo Tourist Corp. will also act as a matchmaker connecting between corporate clients and agricultural communities. As such, agricultural tourism will allow farmers in rural regions to fill that void and earn valuable supplemental income while opening their farms to tourism … Continue reading

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Okinawa Wagyu beef finds ways into Hong Kong cruise ships, JA Okinawa’s 3-month sales reach JPY 10 million

OKINAWA, Aug. 25 -Sales of Wagyu beef by an agricultural corporative in Okinawa (JA Okinawa) for Hong Kong cruise ships are doing well. JA Okinawa began offering the beef for the cruise service provider based in Hong Kong in April this year, and in the first three months, it sold more than 10 million yen. Guests on the boat need to pay extra to select premium dining options that include the beef from Okinawa. However, many people still want to spend the additional fee, 10,000 yen, on top of the cruise fare. Because of such popularity, the number of cruise ships that offer the Okinawan beef increased in July to … Continue reading

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Japan’s growers aim to revive floral tradition at Tokyo Olympics

TOKYO, Aug. 12 ― Athletes who finished in the top three received Japanese flower bouquets at the 2018 Pan Pacific Swimming Championships held in Tokyo on Aug. 9-14. This is a part of efforts that the Japan Flower Growers Association (JFGA) has been pushing. The organization aims to bring the floral tradition back at the world’s biggest sport event: the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics in 2020. Such tradition, however, could be controversial because some consider it unsustainable for the environment. At the 2018 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea, medalists were given a doll of the games mascot wearing a gold, silver or bronze hat, instead of … Continue reading

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Japan’s JA-ZENCHU Chairman Nakaya reflects on one year

TOKYO, Aug. 8 ― One year ago, when he was selected as Japan’s most powerful farm group chairman, Toru Nakaya promised to commit the group’s self-reform during his term. Nakaya, chairman of the Central Union of Agricultural Cooperatives (JA-ZENCHU), now tells The Japan Agricultural News that his group is “very much focused on continuing to reform.” “The JA group self-reform will never end,” Nakaya said. He also stressed that his group needs to make the public to understand the importance of achieving the country’s food security, given its low rate of food self-sufficiency. The calorie-based rate of self-sufficiency remained flat at 37.78 percent in 2017, according to the agriculture ministry. … Continue reading

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