Category Archives: Food & Agriculture

Japan’s 2017 fatality rate in farm accidents sets another record

TOKYO, Jan. 29 ― Japan’s fatality rate in farm accidents hit a new high in 2017, breaking the record rate a year earlier, data from the agriculture ministry has showed. Farming is among the most dangerous occupations in Japan, with a fatality rate of 16.7 per 100,000 farmers, exceeding hazardous jobs such as those in the construction sector with a death-rate of 6.5 per 100,000 workers. In addition, a fatality rate of farmers who were aged over 65 rose to 21.2 per 100,000 farmers, with elderly farmers most at risk group. Nearly 40 percent of fatalities were farmers aged over 80, according to the ministry. A total of 304 farmers … Continue reading

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Fukushima farmers promote local produce for Tokyo Olympics

TOKYO, Jan. 24 ― As Japan gears up to welcome the world the Olympic Games in Tokyo in 2020, Fukushima’s farmers are pushing their locally grown produce to be served at the world’s biggest sport event. The Fukushima prefectural government held a food event to promote its locally grown agricultural products, such as rice and wagyu beef, in Tokyo on Jan. 23, hoping to remove its stigma associated with the 2011 nuclear disaster that hit hard the region. According to prefectural officials, about 300 people from food vendors, caterers and restaurants attended the event. Fukushima has set a target of more than 51 percent of local produce to be certified … Continue reading

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Japan’s farmland area shrinks for four straight years: survey

TOKYO, Jan. 22 ― Japan’s farmland area has declined for the fourth consecutive year, as fields have been abandoned and are no longer cultivated, according to a survey conducted by the agriculture ministry. The farmland increased to 4.06 million hectares in 2013, but it has now gone down to 4.02 million hectares in 2017, with a 10,000 hectare decline a year before. It is partly because farmers get older and young generations aren’t much interested in getting into low-paying farming business in Japan. The Japanese government has set a target to improve self-sufficiency ratio to 40 percent as well as to boost farmland area of 4.4 million hectares by 2025. … Continue reading

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Japanese students eye boosting sweet potato sales in Malaysia

CHIBA, Jan 19 ― Japanese college students are working to gain a foothold of Japanese sweet potato in Malaysia. Four students from the Chiba Prefecture Agricultural College, accompanied by two teachers, held a two-day promotional sales event, meeting with consumers at department stores on Jan. 12 and 13 in Kuala Lumpur. They showed and served various dishes using sweet potato locally grown in Chiba prefecture. For example, they demonstrated how to make steamed cakes; mixing cake flour with small chunks of sweet potato and cooking them in a rice cooker.

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EU to lift restrictions on farm products from Japan: minister

TOKYO, Jan. 21 ― Japanese Agriculture Minister Takamori Yoshikawa has discussed with the EU’s Agriculture Commissioner Phil Hogan and Commissioner for Health and Food Safety Vytenis Andriukaitis over regulatory barriers for Japanese farm exports to the EU. “They told me that they are working on processes that enable Japanese meat, dairy products and eggs to enter the EU market,” Yoshikawa told reporters after the meeting in Berlin on Jan.19. The EU-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) is set to come into effect on Feb. 1. The trade deal is dubbed “cars for cheese” because of business opportunities for Japanese carmakers and EU farmers, means EU duties on Japanese vehicles and parts … Continue reading

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