Typhoon Hagibis causes JPY 38.2 billion agricultural, forestry losses

TOKYO, Oct. 18 – The farm ministry of Japan said on October 18, 2019, that estimated loss in the agriculture, forestry, and fishery industry caused by Typhoon Hagibis reached 38.28 billion as of 5 a.m. on the same day. The figure, which is based on the reports from 34 prefectures, is expected to grow further. In the agricultural industry, the powerful storm caused the loss of the products worth 449 billion at the farmland of 8,693 hectares in total. It hit the farmers who grow rice, soybeans, vegetables, strawberries, apples, pears, and many others. Damages by categories are 122,573 livestock animals (30 million yen), 1,704 greenhouses (1.08 billion yen), 43 … Continue reading

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[Joy of Noh no Ikebana] Matsuko Nishisako (90) from Kure City, Hiroshima Prefecture: In remembrance of my mother

“I began Noh no Ikebana after I saw an obituary for Toshie Yokoi, a founder of Noh no Ikebana, in 2004. I had known her for a while, and I was very much interested in her works and also the arrangements created by other Noh no Ikebana club members. When I saw the article in 2004, I thought she was encouraging me to make a new challenge. Since then, I’ve been enjoying making my arrangements at home and in my garden and sending photos to newspaper publishers. A local photoshop closed recently, and I have less chance to make prints to contribute today. But, when I find giant alliums and … Continue reading

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DNA testing introduced to protect Kobe beef brands

Hyogo, Sep. 26 – In October this year, beef producers and sellers in Hyogo Prefecture introduced DNA testing as part of efforts to make the control over Kobe and Tajima brand high-reputation beef more stringent. Six certified Kobe beef slaughterhouses now collect meat samples when a Kobe cow is slaughtered and send the samples to a newly-established meat center in Himeji City. The center will mark the samples with unique identification numbers and store them, so that people can check meat in the market against the DNA of the stored samples. The identification numbers will be printed on the meat certificates. Butcher’s shops or restaurants can check if the labels … Continue reading

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Abe’s fourth Cabinet picks Taku Eto as new MAFF minister to lead steady development of agricultural policy reform

TOKYO, Sep. 12 – The fourth Abe Cabinet was formed on November 11. It appointed Taku Eto as the Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries. Eto, a first-time minister, used to be an assistant to the prime minister Shinzo Abe. He is an expert of an agriculture and forestry policy in LDP. Abe intends to strengthen efforts to address Japan-US trade agreement, swine fever and all other urgent agricultural issues and drive the reform of agricultural policy with the appointment of his close aide. Eto indicated that he would consider reviewing the outline of the policy regarding the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP), taking into account the Japan-US trade agreement. At … Continue reading

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Japan’s farm minister to allow swine fever vaccination

TOKYO, Sep. 21 – In the battle against swine fever, Taku Eto, Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries of Japan, has decided to start preparing for the change the country’s epidemic prevention policy. After the policy change, the country is going to introduce a new vaccination program for pigs grown at pig farms, he said. The revision will make it possible to vaccinate pigs based on the permission by a governor of each prefecture. However, there will be several issues to be clarified, such as target areas, and the ministry intends to discuss with experts and representatives of prefectures to establish a concrete plan. The revision is expected to take … Continue reading

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