Japan’s fiscal budget exceeds 100 trillion yen two years in a row Agriculture and fishery related spending in fiscal 2020 to reach 2.3 trillion yen

TOKYO, Dec. 21 – Japan’s cabinet has approved a draft budget for fiscal 2020 on December 20, 2019. The general account budget for the next fiscal year starting in April topped 100 trillion for the second straight year and hit a record high of 102.66 trillion yen. Social security costs swelled due to the rise in medical expenses, while the medical cost is growing because of the aging population and the introduction of free preschool education program after the consumption tax hike. The budget also includes agricultural spending of 2.31 trillion yen, which is up 10 billion yen compared to fiscal 2019. It exceeded previous year’s expenditure for the second … Continue reading

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One year after TPP: Japan sees big surge in meat and fruits import, wariness prevailing ahead of US-Japan trade deal

TOKYO, Dec. 31 – One year has passed since the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP) took effect on December 30, 2018. Under the 11-country trade pact, duties on certain products were reduced or eliminated. Its signatories, primarily meat and fruits producing countries, have aggressively expanded their access to Japan, and Japanese farmers were thrown into a market that is freer than ever before. Japan has also signed the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) with the European Union (EU) and will sign the US-Japan trade deal on January 1, 2020. Marked wariness is prevailing among Japanese. -Canadian pork and beef: exports to Japan expanding “Japan has become the largest importer of Canadian products, … Continue reading

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US-Japan trade deal takes effect on Jan 1

TOKYO, Jan. 1 – The US-Japan trade agreement entered into effect on January 1, 2020. Immediately, Japan lowered tariffs on US products, including beef and pork, to the level equivalent to the rates under the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP). For Japan, the bilateral pact is the third significant trade agreement that follows the TPP and the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) with the European Union (EU). In the fiscal year 2018, the total value of agricultural imports from the member countries of the three trade agreements to Japan exceeded 99% of the total. With the new pact, however, the country is granting its competitors greater access to its agricultural market than … Continue reading

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Wagyu production surges in Europe Japan’s livestock association urge to keep track of wagyu genetic resource globally

TOKYO, Dec. 15 – The production of WAGYU-brand beef, which is genetically wagyu (Japanese beef) but born and raised overseas, is increasing in Europe rapidly, according to a research done by Japan Livestock Technology Association. The report said wagyu breed cattle were introduced to Europe through the importation of embryos and semen from the U.S. and Australia, and full-blood and F1 breed cattle are grown in Europe and sold in Europe and the Middle East. There are concerns about possible competition with Japanese farmers who want to expand the export of wagyu born and raised in Japan, but also, the association pointed out the needs to have better control over … Continue reading

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ZEN-NOH subsidiary’s Sakura Rice winning popularity among food business operators overseas

TOKYO, Dec. 12 – ZEN-NOH International Corporation has started to export “Sakura Rice,” a rinse-free rice brand created exclusively for food business operators. On the back of the growing popularity of Japanese food in the world, the subsidiary of the National Federation of Agricultural Cooperative Associations (ZEN-NOH) aims at exploring new opportunities in the export market with the new business-use rice brand. The primary advantages of Sakura Rice are “made in Japan” and effectiveness in cooking processes, and multiple foodservice chains in Singapore, the country with many Japanese restaurants, have already started to use Sakura Rice. So, the ZEN-NOH affiliate thinks it has a high chance of expanding the market … Continue reading

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