Cheese consumption in Japan hits record high in 2019 backed by increase in imports

TOKYO, Jul. 29 – Consumption of cheese in Japan marked a record high of 358,229 tons in fiscal 2019, up 1.5 percent from the previous year, amid the increasing popularity mainly of natural cheese, according to the agriculture ministry. The annual consumption volume of cheese posted an all-time high for five years in a row. While shipments of imported cheese rose along with the enforcement of major trade agreements, domestically-produced cheese products continued to lose their share in the market. The key for domestic cheesemakers to gain a larger share in the expanding market is to secure sufficient supply of milk and develop attractive products. While domestic consumption kept growing, … Continue reading

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Getting ready for victory bouquets for postponed Tokyo 2020

TOKYO, Jul. 23 – “We want to celebrate the winners in the rescheduled Summer Olympics and Paralympics with the victory bouquets made of domestic flowers and leaves.” Producers of aspidistra elatior, or haran in Japanese, in the Izu Oshima Island of Tokyo are already determined to move forward. At the 2020 Tokyo, medalist will receive the bouquets of flowers native to Japan, such as lisianthus from Fukushima Prefecture and gentians from Iwate Prefecture. Haran grown in the Tokyo island will be used to wrap and decorate the flowers from the prefectures, which were hit hard by the March 2011 powerful earthquake and tsunami. The island has about 60 haran growers … Continue reading

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[75 Years after WWII] A-bomb survivors’ groups disbanding, younger generations undertaking the mission

HIROSHIMA, Aug. 6 – As Hiroshima marked the 75th anniversary of the atomic bombing of the city on August 6, 2020, many bomb survivors groups are to close down, leaving the mission to pass down the memories of the war witnesses in younger hands. The number of atomic bomb survivors’ groups in 2019 was 31, down from 73 in 1986, and more are planning to stop their activities during this anniversary year. Some second-generation a-bomb survivors in Japan are undertaking the task of realizing a nuclear-weapon-free world by launching new activity groups or offering training to future storytellers. “It’s my life mission.” In 2018, a community of survivors, or hibakusha … Continue reading

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75 years after the bomb, Hiroshima is filled with flowers of peace: 37th National Urban Green Fair in Hiroshima

HIROSHIMA, Aug. 10 – The 37th National Urban Green Fair is taking place in Hiroshima, the city hit by the devastating bomb 75 years ago, putting prayer for peace on flowers and greenery. The main venue located right next to the Atomic Bomb Dome is filled with 120,000 flowers and greenery of about 300 varieties, mostly from Hiroshima Prefecture. Local farmers are working hard to support the fair that sends a message to the world that Hiroshima desperately hopes to realize lasting peace. Hiroshima is the first city that was hit by an atomic bombing. The number of people killed by the bomb is approximately 89,000, according to the city, … Continue reading

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Japan’s food self-sufficiency rate marks 38 percent in fiscal 2019, far from its target of 45 percent

TOKYO, Aug. 6 – Japan’s calorie-based food self-sufficiency rate was 38 percent in fiscal 2019, the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries announced on Aug. 5. The ratio was up 1 percentage point from the record low of 37 percent in fiscal 2018, rising for the first time in 11 years since fiscal 2008 thanks to improved wheat yields. The rate of increase was small, however, reflecting a decline in rice consumption, and meeting the government target of increasing the rate to 45 percent by fiscal 2030 remains a challenge. The food self-sufficiency rate is an indicator to show how much a nation can cover the food it consumes with … Continue reading

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