Japan’s miso keeps blood pressure from climbing, study shows

TOKYO, Aug. 05 — Miso, a Japanese traditional paste, keeps blood pressure from climbing, which lowers the risk of developing health problems such as strokes, a new study has found. Hiroshima University’s Honorary Professor Hiromitsu Watanabe led the findings, published in an American medical journal specializing in high blood pressure on July 31. “You can benefit only by switching seasoning from salt to miso,” Professor Watanabe recommends. It is widely known that salt increases blood pressure. Studies previously showed miso prevents lung cancer as well as gastric cancer, a leading cause of cancer-related deaths worldwide. This time, the findings show that miso has an effect to improve blood pressure. Miso … Continue reading

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Japan’s new agriculture minister urges staff to change mindset

TOKYO, Aug. 05 — Japan’s Agriculture Minister Ken Saito has told ministry staff members to change their mindsets, urging them to bring new ideas in leading the way for a farming revival. “There is an aging and shrinking population, and if you don’t take new initiatives, you will have to accept the fate that this once proud industry will be on the brink of death,” Saito told the staff members on Aug. 04. “What agriculture policies should we draw up? Will it be okay to keep the status quo? If we need to change, then what changes should be made? Each one of us should think about these seriously,” he … Continue reading

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Chairman of Japan’s Central Union of Agricultural Cooperatives says safeguard on frozen beef imports is necessary to protect livestock industry

TOKYO, Aug. 3 – Chairman of the Central Union of Agricultural Cooperatives, known as Zenchu, Choue Okuno, commented on Japan’s latest safeguard on frozen beef imports from the U.S. and other countries. “The safeguard was imposed automatically by the laws. It’s necessary in order to protect domestic farmers and promote the livestock industry in Japan,” he said. The emergency tariffs on beef imports are triggered when quarterly beef import volume exceeds 117% of that of the previous year. It’s the first time for the safeguard to be imposed on imported beef in 14 years. The Japanese government will raise its tariff on frozen beef from the U.S., Canada, and New … Continue reading

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Agriculture minister calls for U.S.’ understanding for beef safeguard tariff

TOKYO, Aug. 6 – Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Minister Ken Saito said in a group interview with The Japan Agriculture News and other media outlets that Japan will not easily respond to the United States’ request to review an emergency tariff imposed on U.S. frozen beef, nor start negotiating a bilateral free trade agreement. Saito also said he hopes agricultural cooperatives will work to support farmers adapt to the new environment. Q. Looking back to what you have been working for, how do you feel about being appointed to the post of agriculture minister? A. The goal was so far away and the path toward that goal was long and … Continue reading

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Japanese researchers develop the world’s first blue chrysanthemum

  TOKYO, Aug. 7 – A research team of the National Agriculture and Food Research Organization and Suntory Global Innovation Center has finally succeeded in developing the world’s first blue chrysanthemum. Chrysanthemums do not have blue flower varieties in nature, so the researchers used genetic engineering technology, using two types of genes taken from blue-flowering Canterbury bells and butterfly peas to turn chrysanthemum flowers blue. “Now that we can offer more color variations, we hope the demand for chrysanthemums at ceremonial occasions as well as for gifts will grow,” said an organization official. The organization, which has been engaged in the development of blue chrysanthemums since 2001, will conduct further … Continue reading

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