【News】 Japan’s Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga expects coming Japan-U.S. economic dialogue to build up “win-win relationships” (March 16, 2017)

At the press conference held on March 15, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga touched upon the Japan-U.S. economic dialogue that is to start this April between Japanese Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Taro Aso and U.S. Vice President Mike Pence, saying “We are most interested in constructive talks with U.S. administration so that both of the two countries can have mutual benefits by developing “win-win relationships.” The Chief Cabinet Secretary responded to remarks made on March 14 by Robert Lighthizer, the United States Trade Representative-designate nominated by U.S. Trump’s administration, which suggested that the U.S. administration will demand Japan to further liberalize its market of farm products in future … Continue reading

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【News】 Agricultural Minister Yuji Yamamoto emphasizes consistency between Japanese trade policies and WTO rules (March 15, 2017)

Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries of Japan, Yuji Yamamoto, told the press after the Cabinet meeting on March 14 that U.S. government’s latest criticism against Japanese trade policies are hardly acceptable, saying “Agricultural trade practices and farm support policies of Japan are both consistent with the Agreement of the World Trade Organization (WTO).” Agricultural Minister Yuji Yamamoto made the comment responding to a statement presented by a U.S. representative at the latest WTO meeting that accused Japan of maintaining high import tariffs for farm products as well as heavy subsidies for agriculture. At WTO’s review meeting on the trade policies and practices of Japan held on March 9, Geneva, … Continue reading

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【News】No no IKEBANA: Improving presentation skill                               (5) Follow your heart and enjoy your arrangement (Mar. 3, 2017)

<”No no Ikebana” is an art of arranging agricultural products together with agricultural implements and other familiar instruments. It’s a type of Ikebana but mainly for farmers. The series “No no Ikebana” will show you how to best feature the materials and containers you choose, with the help of fans of this style of Ikebana nationwide.> No no Ikebana is something that stirs your imagination. To me, all vegetables look like cute animals, so I make penguins from egg plants and monkeys from chestnuts to include them in my arrangements. When I found Japanese radishes and carrots with two legs, I gave them headbands and put them in a row … Continue reading

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【News】 Strong opposition emerging among Diet members of Japan’s ruling party against coming Japan-U.S. economic dialogue (March 11, 2017)

The ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) held a joint meeting of its Research Commission on Agriculture, Forestry and Food Strategy and other major farm caucuses on March 10 to discuss possible agendas for the upcoming “Japan-U.S. economic dialogue.” In a statement submitted to the World Trade Organization (WTO) on March 8, Donald Trump’s U.S. administration urged Japan to liberalize its markets of farm products, accusing Japan of imposing high tariffs on imports of agricultural products as well as maintaining state-controlled farm trade. Responding to this statement, LDP’s Diet members raised oppositions one after another at the joint meeting against any kind of proposals on further opening of domestic farm markets … Continue reading

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【News】 Eighty-three cooperative organizations in Kanagawa prefecture to disseminate values of UNESCO’s Heritage “Cooperatives” (March 10, 2017)

“Kanagawa Prefectural Joint Committee of Cooperatives” was set up on March 7 in Yokohama, a capital city of the prefecture, by 83 cooperative organizations such as agricultural cooperatives, fisheries cooperatives, forest owners’ cooperatives, consumers’ cooperatives and workers’ cooperatives. The Kanagawa Committee of Cooperatives aims at facilitating activities to disseminate values of cooperatives among the people in the prefecture. The Committee also plans to organize seminars and lectures open to students and citizens in collaboration with universities and academic people in the prefecture. “Cooperatives” were registered as an intangible cultural heritage of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organizations (UNESCO) last November. In Japan, however, it is not yet well … Continue reading

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