【News】Ohaganishi-no-Tanada rice terrace dyed to colors of sunset (in Misaki Town, Okayama Prefecture) (Jun 11, 2017)

Ohaganishi-no-Tanada in Misaki Town, Okayama Prefecture, is one of the four rice terraces in Okayama Prefecture that were selected for inclusion in the top 100 most beautiful tanada (rice terraces) in Japan. The terraced rice field is now offering a wonderful view with water filled up to prepare for a new crop and reflections of the sun on the water that constantly change as time passes. Ohaganishi-no-Tanada is the mortar-shaped rice field in the mountain area with approximately 850 pieces in 85 meters. The edges of the rice terraces are as beautiful as contour lines, and when the sun is setting, the water shines, reflecting colors of the sunset. A … Continue reading

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【Opinion】Let the rainbow of cooperatives shine (June 5, 2017)

[By Taichi Kitagawa, Professor of Fukui Prefectural University] “No rain, no rainbows.” This is a Hawaiian saying which is used to describe bad times mean good times are coming. Japan’s agricultural cooperatives (JAs) have been hit by torrential rain in recent years. The government’s intervention in farm coops’ reform efforts goes against the cooperative principles of autonomy and independence which was adopted by the International Co-operative Alliance at its 31st general assembly in 1995. Under the name of growth strategy, the government is trying to forcibly turn JAs into mere entities specializing in agricultural business. Such government control aimed at taking away comprehensiveness and diversity from JAs is a challenge … Continue reading

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【News】Economic damage by TPP in Hokkaido prefecture estimated 116.9 billion yen by regional agricultural institute (June 5, 2017)

The Hokkaido Regional Agricultural Institute has announced its latest estimate of 116.9 billion yen for an economic damage to be occurred in Hokkaido prefecture by putting the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) free trade pact into effect. The estimation has been made on the basis of the broad TPP agreement announced by its member countries in October 2015, as well as on an amount of decreases in Hokkaido agricultural, forestry and fishery production that was estimated as 59.8 billion yen by the Hokkaido prefectural government in February 2016. The total economic loss by the TPP free trade deal in Hokkaido is broken down into 72.5 billion yen, an estimated loss of the … Continue reading

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【News】Japan court rejects citizens’ claim that TPP is unconstitutional(June 8, 2017)

The Tokyo district court has dismissed a lawsuit brought by a civil society group that claims the Japanese government has violated the constitution by agreeing to the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) deal. The court on June 7 also rejected the group’s request to block the government from signing the pact, explaining this is in the realm of executive power and a civil lawsuit cannot stop it. Moreover the judge said the plaintiffs failed to state a claim that the deal undermines basic human rights, because the TPP has not yet come into force. The group of nearly 1,600 people includes farmers, workers and healthcare professionals. It filed the case against the … Continue reading

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【News】LDP sets up committee for JP-EU trade deal amid PM Abe’s push(June 7, 2017)

Japan’s governing Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) has set up a committee to consult its members and stakeholders to ease anxiety over the Japan-EU free trade deal. The move coincides with a high-level push by the administration of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to wrap up the negotiations early in July. Japan and the European Union leaders are now aiming to reach a free trade agreement when both sides meet at the sidelines of the July 7-8 G20 summit in Hamburg, Germany. Koya Nishikawa has been chosen to preside the committee, which is expected to meet once a week. Nishikawa is currently the chairman of LDP’s research commission on agriculture and food … Continue reading

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