Category Archives: Cooperatives

【News】Agricultural Competitiveness Enhancement Support Act enacted in Japan (May 13, 2017)

A bill for Agricultural Competitiveness Enhancement Support Act was passed in a plenary session of the House of Councilors on May 12 by a majority vote, mostly led by members of ruling parties. Shinzo Abe’s administration has been advocating an enactment of the bill as a centerpiece of agricultural reform-related bills, which aims at proceeding realignment of the agricultural industry so as to promote price reduction of farm inputs as well as streamline distribution of agricultural products. Yuji Yamamoto, Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries told the press after the Cabinet meeting on the same day that his Ministry will make efforts to draft ministerial ordinances for the Act as … Continue reading

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【Opinion】Independence essential for agricultural cooperatives (May 2, 2017)

[By Masaru Yamada, The Japan Agricultural News Special Senior Writer] Last week, Tokyo-based Asian Productivity Organization held a five-day workshop in Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh, to discuss development of Asian rural villages and the role of farmers’ cooperatives. More than 20 people from 12 countries, including bureaucrats, executives of agricultural organizations, officials of nonprofit organizations and university faculty members, participated in the workshop. It was surprising to see that although the goal of the workshop was to reaffirm the role of cooperatives in increasing the value of agriculture, many of the attendants voiced criticism over the current farm coops. Some pointed out that agricultural coops are government-led organizations, with … Continue reading

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【News】 Japan’s agricultural cooperative organizations launch “One-stop service center for export promotion” on their website (April 30, 2017)

JA Group, a nationwide business and organizational network of agricultural cooperatives (JAs) in Japan opened an online platform named “One-stop service center for export promotion” on May 1. The “One-stop service center” managed jointly by JA’s national organizations started to play a role of the portal website for JAs that are interested in exporting agricultural products by accepting JAs’ applications for experimental sales in overseas markets. The experimental marketing of crops produced by JAs’ member farmers is to be carried out on the permanent shelves operated by ZEN-NOH (National Federation of Agricultural Cooperative Associations), or JAs’ national marketing and supply business organization, at supermarkets and retail shops in Hong Kong, … Continue reading

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【News】 Japan’s Parliamentary group drafting Diet resolution supporting cross-sectoral cooperative legislation (April 21, 2017)

The cross-party Parliamentary Association for Cooperative Development Researches resumed its activities by holding its general assembly on April 20 for the first time in five years since 2012. Cooperative organizations, particularly those of agricultural cooperatives have been under pressure to reform their business systems and the like, meanwhile people living at local areas including depopulated communities are raising their expectation that cooperatives will play a major role for them in various ways. Under such conditions, the Parliamentary Association of Diet members aims at promoting legislation supporting the whole of cooperative movements in the country, instead of sector-wise cooperative laws. For the time being, the Association plans to address immediate challenges … Continue reading

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【News】Norinchukin, Nokyo Tourist to send rural trip videos overseas to spur inbound tourism (Apr. 22, 2017)

The Central Cooperative Bank for Agriculture, Forestry and Fishery (the Norinchukin Bank), Nokyo Tourist Corporation and two non-agricultural companies have launched a joint program to bring more inbound travelers to rural areas in Japan. The plan says some overseas travelers are offered monitor tours in rural areas in Japan to be filmed in short videos that show how they enjoyed the trips in Japan. The video clips are then provided to approximately 100 tour companies mainly in Asia to help them include those areas as new destinations in their Japan tours. The first video footage will cover the tour in Hiroshima and Ehime Prefectures of nine female travelers from Taiwan … Continue reading

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