Category Archives: Food & Agriculture

Japan’s food exports rise to a record level in Jan-Sept 2017

TOKYO, Nov. 24 — Japan’s food exports have grown this year to a record level, thanks to the strong demand for Japanese wagyu beef, data from the finance ministry has shown. Japanese total exports for food rose 5.4% to 568.3 billion yen in the nine months that ended September 30, 2017, compared to the same period the year earlier. The beef exports in January-September jumped 44% to 1,715 metric tons, making up 90 percent of last year’s record exports of 1,908 metric tons. Hong Kong, the top destination for Japanese beef, saw a 38% increase during the period. Beef exports to the United States, which is Japan’s second-biggest market for … Continue reading

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Births of Japanese black cattle exceed 500,000 head in 2016

TOKYO, Nov. 22 — The births of Japanese Black cattle, one of four wagyu breeds, have surpassed to the 500,000 mark in 2016 for the first time in four years, data taken from Japan’s National Livestock Breeding Center shows. The Japanese Black cattle numbers grew for a second straight year to 502,066 head in 2016. Japanese Black cattle expanded by 4,000 head in 2015 compared to the year earlier, and it jumped by over 10,000 in 2016, according to the NLBC. Japanese breeds of beef cattle typically produce marbled meat with unsaturated fat, which makes the soft and flavorful steaks the world’s most expensive meat.

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Japanese tea machine maker invents portable tea canisters

SHIMADA, Nov. 19 — Drink your tea anywhere, anytime. That’s the concept for Katsuyoshi Asahara when he invented a new tea canister. It resembles a marker pen and it’s fairly compact. Push the pen point gently so that the tea powder is released into your cup. Then pour hot water. Voilà, the tea is ready. There are seven different types of tea powder, including Japanese green tea and oolong tea, explains the president of Shimada-based Asahara Industry in Shizuoka prefecture, one of the tea-growing regions in Japan. Asahara calls the tea canisters “Cha-ckee,” named after a popular marker pen brand “Hi-Mckee” made by Japanese stationary manufacturer Zebra. “I hope people … Continue reading

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Agricultural heritage in Japan: Living and farming on steep mountains for more than 400 years in Nishi Awa region, Tokushima Prefecture

TOKUSHIMA, Nov. 12 – Peak season for buckwheat harvest began in the fields in the mountains in the western part of Tokushima Prefecture, in the area designated by the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries as one of the agricultural heritages in Japan in 2016. The steep slope farming system here in Nishi Awa region is very unique, traditional, and considered so rare in the world that it’s one of the candidates for the world agricultural heritage of Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations. Nishi Awa comprises four areas: Mima, Miyoshi, Tsurugi, and Higashi-Miyoshi. At the sloped fields in a 350-meter-high-altitude Sakurai Village in Tsurugi town, a … Continue reading

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Number of Japanese restaurants abroad reaches 118,000 amid popularity of washoku

TOKYO, Nov. 8 – The number of Japanese restaurants in foreign countries totaled 118,000 as of October, up 30 percent in the last two years, the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries announced on Nov. 7. The increase reflects the growing popularity of washoku Japanese cuisine along with the rise in the number of foreign people visiting Japan. The ministry plans to further strengthen promotion of Japanese food in order to help boost exports of agricultural products. The ministry has been conducting a survey jointly with the Foreign Ministry and asking 238 diplomatic establishments abroad to compile figures on Japanese restaurants. The number was about 24,000 in 2006, topped 50,000 … Continue reading

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