Category Archives: Food & Agriculture

【News】Japanese Government to promote campaign of “farm stay tours” in fiscal 2017 (May 14, 2017)

The Japanese Government launches a full-fledged campaign to promote “farm stay tours” at rural communities in agricultural, mountainous and fishery villages. The campaign aims at stimulating new demand for tours visiting rural areas which leads to increases in local people’s income and employment. The Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF) has appropriated 5 billion yen in a budget for the “farm stay tour” promotion campaign beginning in fiscal 2017. MAFF’s budget is earmarked to subsidize “village revitalization bodies” such as non-profit organizations and other local residents’ associations initiating a farm stay business. The subsidy will partly meet costs of working out tour programs in respective rural villages as well … Continue reading

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【News】Wall Street Journal article calling on Japan to import more potatoes creates a stir (May 15, 2017)

Amid the recent shortage of potatoes used to produce potato chips in Japan, a Wall Street Journal article has caused a stir by calling on the nation to increase its imports of potatoes. Japan’s imports of potatoes are controlled by quarantine inspections, but an opinion piece published by the major U.S. newspaper in late April criticized the phytosanitary issues as “unjustified import restrictions.” Some are concerned that such criticisms could lead to stronger pressure by the U.S. government on Japan to relax quarantine measures in the future bilateral economic dialogue. The article titled “Japan’s Potato Panic” says Japan’s quarantine procedure taken to prevent entry of harmful pests “was part of … Continue reading

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【News】Foreign Ministry and U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization promote safety of Fukushima-made fruit (May 11, 2017)

The Foreign Ministry held a tasting event of sweets made from Fukushima-grown fruit in Tokyo’s Chuo Ward on May 10 to promote their safety, inviting Jose Graziano da Silva, director general of the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization. The ministry served two kinds of sweets made from Japanese pears and apples produced in Fukushima which won the grand prize in a sweets contest organized by the city of Fukushima since 2014. “At the moment, we don’t see any reason to raise concern about the safety of (Fukushima-made) food,” the director general said, giving high marks to the sweets he tasted. “Six years after the (2011 nuclear) accident, we continue to … Continue reading

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【News】 Parliamentarian League for UN Agricultural Organization set up in Tokyo to support its activities against global malnutrition (May 11, 2017)

An inaugural general meeting of the cross-party Parliamentarian League for the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) was held in Tokyo on May 10. The Parliamentarian League was set up by about 80 members of the Diet belonging to various parties such as the Liberal Democratic Party, Komeito party and the Democratic Party. The League aims at promoting and supporting FAO’s activities which fight against global hunger and malnutrition as well as achieve food security in the world. FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva attended the meeting of the Parliamentarian League to make a presentation about “Food and Nutrition Security in the world and FAO’s roles.” “Farmers … Continue reading

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【News】 Japan’s import of Australian dairy cattle rapidly increasing in 2017 (May 9, 2017)

The number of dairy cows imported from Australia and other countries are very likely to hit the highest level in the past ten years. Japan Dairy Association or J-milk based at Chuo ward, Tokyo decided to import 960 heads of dairy cattle at most this year, while the Japanese dairy industry is facing a serious shortage of milk cows on dairy farms. Some of prefectural dairy farmers’ organizations and large-sized dairy farms are also planning to import cows from Australia. According to the Animal Quarantine Service of the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries, imports of dairy cattle per year fluctuated in number from 300 to 1,000 heads over the … Continue reading

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