Category Archives: Food & Agriculture

【Series】 Our Noh no Ikebana : “Let’s celebrate new year with happy decoration,” says Sachie Sano from Nantan city, Kyoto (Jan. 5)

“Usually, I have a large basket in the entrance hall and enjoy arrangements with silver glasses, persimmon branches and other mountain flowers and fruits. I also like crafting and sometimes enjoy making akebia vine wreaths. Most of the people here enjoy the arrangement in the same way, I think. It’s more fun to decorate agricultural products than flowers you bought, isn’t it? The theme of the arrangement today is the new year holidays. I used a pole for Koinobori carp-shaped streamers, and I wrap it with straw matting to make it look like a dog with long ears. It’s the year of the dog in the Chinese astrological calendar, you … Continue reading

Posted in Food & Agriculture, Noh no Ikebana | Comments Off on 【Series】 Our Noh no Ikebana : “Let’s celebrate new year with happy decoration,” says Sachie Sano from Nantan city, Kyoto (Jan. 5)

Japan’s 2016 farm output tops 9 tln yen for first time in 16 years

TOKYO, Dec. 27 — Japan’s agricultural output exceeded a landmark 9 trillion yen in 2016 for the first time in 16 years, data from the agriculture ministry has shown. Improved prices of table rice were a major factor affecting the nation’s agriculture production, which rose by 4.6% year-on-year to 9.2 trillion yen in 2016, according to the ministry. The rise is also attributed to unfavorable weather conditions, which reduced supplies of vegetables and fresh fruits and helped to boost prices, the ministry noted. The number of farmers in Japan has steadily shrunk in recent times, as they get older and scramble to consolidate. That has impacted the nation’s agricultural production … Continue reading

Posted in Farm Policy, Food & Agriculture | Comments Off on Japan’s 2016 farm output tops 9 tln yen for first time in 16 years

Japan eyes stricter labeling on non-genetically modified foods

TOKYO, Dec. 19 — Japan is considering a stricter labeling policy for non-genetically modified organisms (GMO) to allow consumers to make the right choice. A panel of experts that included food makers and consumer protection groups held a seventh round of talks on Dec. 18 for the Consumer Affairs Agency to review GMO policy. Under the 2001 GMO labeling law, Japan requires mandatory labels for eight crops containing GMO, such as soybeans and corn, and soy- and corn-based products. Such products include tofu, natto, soymilk, miso, corn starch and popcorn. But at the same time, Japan allows a five percent tolerance for GMO content in food. In other words, if … Continue reading

Posted in Farm Policy, Food & Agriculture | Comments Off on Japan eyes stricter labeling on non-genetically modified foods

Kadomatsu, something Japanese must have as new year decoration

GUNMA, Dec. 24 — Akagi Green, a gardening and landscaping company in Maebashi city, Gunma Prefecture, is now in the busiest time of the year, making kadomatsu, traditional Japanese new year decorations. The kadomatsu in various sizes, ranging in height from 1 to 2 meters, are lined up in its garden. The company is going to make approximately 200 pairs by December 24 and ship them to the customers mainly in the Kanto region by December 28. The most poplar ones are those of 1.5 meters tall. Takeshi Ogiwara, 45-year-old president of the company, said, “Kadomatsu is inseparable from new years in Japan. We want to continue making them as … Continue reading

Posted in Food & Agriculture, Photos | Comments Off on Kadomatsu, something Japanese must have as new year decoration

【Opinion】 Problem of achieving food security through diversifying imports (Dec. 18, 2017)

[By Yasushi Tange, visiting researcher at Norinchukin Research Institute] Japan’s food self-sufficiency rate marked 38 percent on a calorie basis in fiscal 2016, down 1 percentage point from a year before, posting a year-on-year drop for the first time in six years. The figure was the second-lowest level ever after 37 percent recorded in fiscal 1993, when the country suffered a serious rice shortage following bad weather. The self-sufficiency rate, which was 73 percent in fiscal 1965, has been on a declining trend since then. Some criticize that an obsession with food sufficiency figures may be off the mark, citing such reasons as the fact that fruit and vegetables, although … Continue reading

Posted in Farm Policy, Food & Agriculture | Comments Off on 【Opinion】 Problem of achieving food security through diversifying imports (Dec. 18, 2017)