Category Archives: Food & Agriculture

Takii develops world’s first prototype pumpkin resistant to powdery mildew

SHIGA, Jul. 18 – The world’s first pumpkin breed that is resistant to powdery mildew was unveiled yesterday to vegetable producers and agricultural management instructors from an agricultural cooperative (JA) in Shiga Prefecture. The new robust variety is expected to give increased yield and ensure a lower burden for controlling the disease. The new variety is named TNK-157 and developed by a Japanese seed maker of vegetables and flowers, Takii Co. The company has already acquired the license and began trial production at limited locations. Powdery mildew is a disease that causes white powdery spots on the leaves. Severely affected plants can die. With pumpkins, it may affect the leaves … Continue reading

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Agriculture management entities dips below 1.2 million, large-scale farmers’ acreage also decreasing

TOKYO, July. 29 – The number of agriculture management entities in Japan has gone below 1.2 million, the lowest in the past ten years, according to the data released by the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries of Japan. The number of family management entities, which account for more than 90%, dipped 2.7% to 1,152,800. These figures underline a weakening production base in Japan due to a severe labor shortage and an aging population. The acreage of large-scale agriculture management entities has also started to decline. The decrease in the number of the entities who had been covering the loss of small-scale family-run entities is making it difficult for Japan to … Continue reading

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Better get ready for the fight – Hiraniwa Bullfight Meet in Kuji

IWATE, Jun. 17 – Yamagata Town, Kuji City, Iwate Prefecture, is the only place to host a bullfight meet four times a year in the Tohoku (North Eastern) region in Japan. The meet, called Togyu in Japanese, is for local shorthorn bulls which are known to have strong backs and good patient. The fighters in this year’s June tournament called “Tsutsuji Basho” included a young bull of about 400 kilograms and the Yokozuna Champion of over 1 ton, and they all staged exciting games. The Hiraniwa Bullfighting Meet is held at a permanent bullring of a diameter of 2.2 meters on the Hiraniwa Highland. Bull handlers called seko scream and … Continue reading

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Young ruling bloc candidates close to farm industry suffer defeat in Upper House election

TOKYO, July 24 – While the ruling coalition of the Liberal Democratic Party and Komeito won a majority in the Upper House election, many younger candidates with close ties to the agricultural industry were defeated. Meanwhile, veteran candidates of the ruling parties well-acquainted with farm policies fared well in the proportional representation segment. Few candidates of the opposition parties focused on agricultural policies in their campaigns. LDP’s Yoshimasa Hayashi, former agriculture minister, won his fifth term. Touching on the issue of depopulation in regional areas, Hayashi said: “We have to work on strengthening not only the agriculture sector, but also other industries.” Ryosuke Kozuki of LDP, a senior member of … Continue reading

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Maruyama Senmaida rice terraces in Mie Prefecture attract visitors thanks to preservation efforts

MIE, June 3 – A scenic grouping of 1,340 rice paddies in the town of Kiwa in Kumano, Mie Prefecture, is attracting visitors as one of the largest rice terraces in the country. Stretching out on a farmland totaling 7.2 hectares cut into the sides of a 150-meter-high slope, the small rice paddies of various sizes – about 0.3 ares in average – are filled with water before the rice planting season and shimmer in the sunlight, forming gentle arcs that look like fish scales. In May, farmers start planting rice, using two-row transplanters. Records show that the rice terraces were created some 900 years ago, and that there were … Continue reading

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