Category Archives: Food & Agriculture

Japan eyes Southeast Asia to expand Japanese food outlets

TOKYO, Dec. 21 — Cool Japan Fund, a government-backed investor, has targeted Southeast Asia and is betting the region’s rapidly growing middle class can boost exports of Japanese agricultural products through outlet openings. The Cool Japan Fund said at a Dec. 20 press conference that it will provide up to 500 million yen in funding, aimed at supporting Japanese food operators opening 100 outlets in the next five years in the Southeast Asia region. “We hope this business will help expand exports of Japanese agricultural products,” explained an official from Cool Japan Fund. The Cool Japan Fund, set up in 2013, is the centerpiece of the government’s “Cool Japan” strategy. … Continue reading

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【Series】 Our Noh no Ikebana : “Let’s celebrate new year with happy decoration,” says Sachie Sano from Nantan city, Kyoto (Jan. 5)

“Usually, I have a large basket in the entrance hall and enjoy arrangements with silver glasses, persimmon branches and other mountain flowers and fruits. I also like crafting and sometimes enjoy making akebia vine wreaths. Most of the people here enjoy the arrangement in the same way, I think. It’s more fun to decorate agricultural products than flowers you bought, isn’t it? The theme of the arrangement today is the new year holidays. I used a pole for Koinobori carp-shaped streamers, and I wrap it with straw matting to make it look like a dog with long ears. It’s the year of the dog in the Chinese astrological calendar, you … Continue reading

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Japan’s 2016 farm output tops 9 tln yen for first time in 16 years

TOKYO, Dec. 27 — Japan’s agricultural output exceeded a landmark 9 trillion yen in 2016 for the first time in 16 years, data from the agriculture ministry has shown. Improved prices of table rice were a major factor affecting the nation’s agriculture production, which rose by 4.6% year-on-year to 9.2 trillion yen in 2016, according to the ministry. The rise is also attributed to unfavorable weather conditions, which reduced supplies of vegetables and fresh fruits and helped to boost prices, the ministry noted. The number of farmers in Japan has steadily shrunk in recent times, as they get older and scramble to consolidate. That has impacted the nation’s agricultural production … Continue reading

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Japan eyes stricter labeling on non-genetically modified foods

TOKYO, Dec. 19 — Japan is considering a stricter labeling policy for non-genetically modified organisms (GMO) to allow consumers to make the right choice. A panel of experts that included food makers and consumer protection groups held a seventh round of talks on Dec. 18 for the Consumer Affairs Agency to review GMO policy. Under the 2001 GMO labeling law, Japan requires mandatory labels for eight crops containing GMO, such as soybeans and corn, and soy- and corn-based products. Such products include tofu, natto, soymilk, miso, corn starch and popcorn. But at the same time, Japan allows a five percent tolerance for GMO content in food. In other words, if … Continue reading

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Kadomatsu, something Japanese must have as new year decoration

GUNMA, Dec. 24 — Akagi Green, a gardening and landscaping company in Maebashi city, Gunma Prefecture, is now in the busiest time of the year, making kadomatsu, traditional Japanese new year decorations. The kadomatsu in various sizes, ranging in height from 1 to 2 meters, are lined up in its garden. The company is going to make approximately 200 pairs by December 24 and ship them to the customers mainly in the Kanto region by December 28. The most poplar ones are those of 1.5 meters tall. Takeshi Ogiwara, 45-year-old president of the company, said, “Kadomatsu is inseparable from new years in Japan. We want to continue making them as … Continue reading

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