Category Archives: Food & Agriculture

Tokyo makes video to educate farmers on African swine fever

TOKYO, Oct. 21 ― Japan’s agriculture ministry has issued an online video to educate farmers on preventive measures to avoid African swine fever, as the highly contagious disease is on the rise in China and beyond. African swine fever is not harmful to humans but is often fatal to pigs and impossible to vaccinate against. The online video, which last two-and-a-half minutes, advises farmers to observe hygiene, to properly monitor people’s movements in farms and to heat animal feed very well as the virus can survive for months in meat products. African swine fever has now reached most of China’s pig-farming regions. According to the Japanese agriculture ministry, the deadly … Continue reading

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A Hokkaido dairy farmer closes his farm following earthquake, writes poems to show gratitude

HOKKAIDO, Nov. 6 – “No more sound of buckets No more sound of cows mooing No more sound of milkers No more sound of bulk coolers Every sound of production is completely gone Silence Desolation Tears Tears” Shoichi Narita, 77, a dairy farmer of Nemuro, Hokkaido, wrote this poem to thank his cows, his farm and his fellow farmers who supported him, after he sold all his cows and gave up farming in October. Narita had been running his farm which his grandfather reclaimed in the Meiji Era, keeping 120 cows on a 100-hectare land. But following a major earthquake that hit Hokkaido in September, Narita, his wife Hiroko, 73, … Continue reading

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“Honnyo” stands in rice fields as symbol of rice growing culture in Kurihara City, Miyagi Prefecture

It’s believed that the name “Honnyo” has come from “honio,” the name of the method of stacking freshly-harvested rice plants, or from “honioh” from the shape that looks like a temple guardian. To make Honnyo, you assemble four bunches of the rice plants in the shape of a cross and hung them around a cedar pole of two to three meters long which stands in the rice fields. Usually, you can place around 30 of them per 10 are. Farmers in Nagasaki region do it a little differently, by making triangles with the rice plants and assemble them on the pole in an angle so that the tips of the … Continue reading

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US removes import restrictions on shell eggs from Japan

TOKYO, Oct. 17 ― The United States has lifted its import restrictions on shell eggs from Japan with requirements of temperature controls. The move comes as Tokyo has been requesting Washington since 2004 to allow shipping Japanese-grown shell eggs to the U.S. territories such as Hawaii and Guam. The Japanese agriculture ministry said on Oct. 16 that the U.S. concluded that Japan has an equivalent inspection system for shell eggs. According to the ministry, Japanese eggs need to be chilled at a temperature below 7.2℃ from 36 hours after being laid until their arrival at a U.S. destination.

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Japanese beef exports to Taiwan outperform pre-BSE levels

TOKYO, Oct. 15 ― Japanese wagyu beef exports to Taiwan are recording a rapid growth in the past 12 months after the neighboring Asian country lifted 16-year bans on imports of the meat from Japan in September 2017. Taiwan’s appetite for Japanese beef collapsed following the outbreak of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), or mad cow disease, in Japan in 2001. Shipments of Japanese beef exports to Taiwan from September 2017 to August 2018 totaled 616 metric tons, with export value topping 4.1 billion yen, data from the finance ministry showed. That was 30 times higher in volume than the pre-BSE levels. Exports of Japanese beef to Taiwan stood at 19 … Continue reading

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