Japan and Hong Kong sign agreement to promote Japan’s food exports

TOKYO, Oct. 3 – Japan’s Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries and the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) agreed on Oct. 2 to strengthen cooperation aimed at boosting Japan’s exports of food, farm and marine products to Hong Kong. Agriculture minister Ken Saito and HKTDC Executive Director Margaret Fong signed a memorandum with additional clauses for cooperation, including promotion of Japanese cuisine, at the ministry in Tokyo the same day. Hong Kong is the world’s largest exporter of Japanese food and agriculture products. The ministry and the council signed a memorandum on export promotion in 2012 to recover Japan’s exports which had been reduced after the Fukushima No. 1 … Continue reading

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【Series】 Our Noh no Ikebana : “We enjoy dynamic arrangments under clear autumn sky” says Miyoko Sasaki from Nishiwaga town, Iwate Prefecture (Oct. 6)

“It’s been over 20 years since I began Noh no Ikebana in one of the activities of our local agricultural cooperative. I was so impressed by the works of the senior members that I launched a No no Ikebana Group with my local friends. We exhibit our Ikebana, for example, at local agricultural fairs as well as parties for seniors. We also place our ikebana works at a farmers’ restaurant run by the group. First thing we do is to set the central theme, in many cases considering seasonal events and dishes. We always try to make it dynamic while using tools and materials as simple as possible. The theme … Continue reading

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Less Japan table rice planted this year; stable price expected

TOKYO, Sept. 30 — Japan’s agriculture ministry estimates less acreage of table rice has been planted this year, even below the target, thanks to a shift in production from table rice to other crops. The planting acreage for table rice in 2017/18 declined by 11,000 hectares from a year earlier to 1.37 million hectares, according to the latest rice outlook released by the ministry on Sept. 29. This was below the target of 1.38 million hectares. Total rice stocks are projected at 1.82 million metric tons at the end of June 2018, if the planting acreage for table rice this year is within the target, the ministry said. That’s good … Continue reading

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Japan’s Megmilk buys Australian cheesemaker for 1.2 bln yen

TOKYO, Sept. 30 — Megmilk Snow Brand Co., one of Japan’s largest dairy company, has bought a majority share of an Australian cheesemaker for 1.2 billion yen, betting on fast-growing markets in Asia to boost sales of its high-quality products. The Japanese company, with its Australian subsidiary, acquired 90% of Udder Delights Australia (UDA) Pty Ltd., the Adelaide-based cheese company, on Sept. 29. Sullivan Enterprises (SA) Pty Ltd., the Sullivan family business, retains a 10% share in UDA. UDA specializes handmade artisan cheeses that includes white mold, blue mold cheese, goat milk cheese and organic cheese. It sells its products to high-end hotels and restaurants in Australia. The focus on … Continue reading

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US beef imports to Japan rise 22% year-on-year in August

TOKYO, Sept. 29 — Overall beef imports from the United States rose 22% in August from a year earlier, despite Tokyo’s introduction of special safeguard (SSG) measures on frozen imports, data from the finance ministry has showed. U.S. beef imports amounted to 18,038 metric tons, the ministry said on Sept. 28. But U.S. frozen beef imports were down 26% to 4,317 metric tons in August compared with the same month a year earlier. Japan invoked the SSG on Aug. 1 to restrict frozen beef imports temporarily by raising the tariff from 38.5 percent to 50 percent, as the imports rose more than 17% year-on-year in the April-June quarter. Meanwhile, U.S. … Continue reading

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