Category Archives: Food & Agriculture

Japan declares itself free of avian flu; surveillance to continue

TOKYO, June 29 — Japan has declared itself free of highly contagious avian flu as of June 28 and notified the Paris-based World Organization for Animal Health (OIE). Avian flu is a rapidly spreading viral disease that can infect many types of birds. Japan’s agriculture ministry will accelerate talks with the countries to ask them to lift a trade ban they imposed on imports of Japanese poultry products from the start of the outbreak. Between last November and March this year, the avian flu virus struck 12 farms in 9 prefectures: Aomori, Niigata, Hokkaido, Miyazaki, Kumamoto, Gifu, Saga, Miyagi, Chiba. The government took various measures to contain the avian flu … Continue reading

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Japanese pork producers fear the impact of market liberalization under Japan-EU trade accord

KAGOSHIMA, June 26 – With Japan and European Union nearing agreement on a free trade deal, pork producers are increasingly worried about their future. Even production areas of quality pork brands are losing competitiveness in recent years, due to the continuing aftermath of disease outbreaks. Liberalization of the domestic pork market to EU with many pork exporting countries could force more pork producers in Japan to give up their business. Farmers are also concerned over the government’s failure to share information, and call on the government to ensure a stable environment for them to continue business. In the city of Kanoya in Kagoshima Prefecture, known as the nation’s major pork … Continue reading

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【News】Japanese strawberry varieties taken to South Korea without permission, causing estimated losses of 22 billion yen (June 21, 2017)

Japan’s strawberry varieties have recently been taken to South Korea without permission, taking away domestic producers’ export opportunities and causing maximum losses of 22 billion yen in the last five years, an estimate by the Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry Ministry has revealed. The ministry is calling for the need to register domestically-developed varieties abroad, expressing concern over the more-than-expected adverse impact on domestic production. According to the ministry, more than 90 percent of strawberries cultivated in South Korea are varieties created based on Japanese varieties. Japanese strawberries such as Tochiotome grown in Tochigi Prefecture and Red Pearl and Akihime developed by Japanese farmers were taken to South Korea without permission, … Continue reading

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【News】Livestock industry stabilization act revised to increase recipients of compensatory subsidies (June 10, 2017)

A bill for the Livestock Industry Management Stabilization Revised Act, including a new system to provide compensatory subsidies to producers of raw milk for manufacturing uses, was passed in a plenary session of the House of Councilors on June 9 by a majority vote with support from the ruling bloc led by the Liberal Democratic Party. The Revised Livestock Stabilization Act, which Prime Minister Shinzo Abe regarded as “the first drastic reform of Japanese dairy farming policy in 50 years,” is to be enforced on April 1, 2018. Under the new compensatory subsidy system, so-called outsider dairy farmers, who have not shipped their fresh milk to designated organizations of dairy farmers, … Continue reading

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【News】Agricultural Ministry to hold the first workshop for host farmers of “farm stay tour” this autumn (June 11, 2017)

The Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF) plans to start a new program of holding a practical workshop this autumn for the purpose of developing human resources of host farmers for promoting “Noh-Haku” or “farm stay tours” at rural areas in Japan. Farmers and other rural residents with interests in beginning a “farm stay tour business” at their respective houses will be invited to participate in the workshop. The participants in the MAFF special workshop are required to stay at a “developed area” of the farm stay tourism about one month, which has been successful in attracting a number of tourists to its rural community. A dozen of participants … Continue reading

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