Category Archives: Food & Agriculture

The United States to allow imports of persimmons from Japan

TOKYO, Sept. 13 – The United States government has agreed to allow imports of fresh persimmons from Japan, Japan’s agriculture ministry announced Tuesday. The two governments reached consensus on necessary phytosanitary requirements, including appropriate pest control. Shipments of persimmons that meet the requirements are likely to start as early as this year. Japan had long been asking the U.S. to lift its import ban on Japan-grown persimmons. The U.S. government had been refusing to do so, citing insufficient pest control, but has judged the necessary conditions are met. The U.S. requires that persimmons to be imported from Japan be produced at farms which are registered at plant protection stations with … Continue reading

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Japanese pear exports to Vietnam resume after 10-year ban

SHIMOTSUMA, Sept. 7 — Japanese pear producers are getting access to Vietnam for the first time in 10 years. A Japanese pear, known as nashi, is apple-shaped with golden speckled skin and is somewhat different to a European pear; it is firm, crispy, sweet and juicy. In January, Vietnam lifted a ban on this crunchy late-summer fruit from Japan. Two months later, nashi producers in Shimotsuma city, Ibaraki prefecture, flew to Vietnam to develop the market. They sent test products by air and immediately struck a deal with local buyers, who accepted to pay 20 percent higher than prices paid to Japanese domestic producers. The Shimotsuma producers will export 100 … Continue reading

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Japan lifts 11-year import ban on Idaho potatoes after confirming lowered risk of pest invasion

TOKYO, Sept. 14 – The Japanese government lifted its import ban on raw chipping potatoes from Idaho, the largest potato producing state in the United States, for the first time in 11 years, effective Tuesday. Because the acreage in Idaho occupies 30 percent of potato crops in the U.S. – the world’s major potato growing country – the resumption of shipments could pose a threat to domestic production. Imports of fresh U.S.-made potatoes, used by Japanese snack makers to produce potato chips, have been on the rise in recent years, marking 28,000 tons in 2016. Japan began importing potatoes from the U.S. in February 2006. In April that year, the … Continue reading

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Japan’s shell egg export to Hong Kong soaring at fastest pace for superior freshness and safety

TOKYO, Sep. 13 ― Japan’s export of shell eggs to Hong Kong is growing at the fastest pace ever in 2017, as an increasing number of consumers in Hong Kong believes that eggs from Japan are safe and fresh and it’s ok to eat them soft-boiled or near raw. This summer, egg producers in South Korea, some European countries, and Hong Kong were found to have used an insecticide banned from the use in raising chickens, and the news has been giving a boost to the Japanese egg export. Currently, Japan can export eggs produced domestically to Hong Kong and Singapore, and more than 90% of the eggs shipped overseas … Continue reading

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Use gentians for Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics, Iwate farmers appeal to Olympics and Paralympics Game Minister

TOKYO, Sep. 9 ― Representatives of agricultural cooperatives in Iwate Prefecture including Norio Kubo, chairman of the central union of agricultural cooperatives in Iwate Prefecture (JA Iwate Prefecture Central Union) and Iwate Headquarters of National Federation of Agricultural Cooperative Associations (ZEN-NOH Iwate), met with Shunichi Suzuki, the minister in charge of the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics, in Kasumigaseki, Tokyo, on September 8, 2017. The party presented Suzuki a bouquet and pots of fresh gentians produced by growers in Iwate Prefecture. It was part of the efforts to communicate the charm of the flowers from Iwate to the world through the exposure at the 2020 Olympic and Paralympics Game. Minister Suzuki … Continue reading

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