Japan-U.K. trade deal takes effect

TOKYO, Jan. 3 – A post-Brexit trade agreement between Japan and the United Kingdom came into force on Jan. 1, providing the same level of tariffs on farm produce as the existing trade pact between Japan and the European Union. No new import quotas were set for the U.K. on 25 items that currently benefit from reduced tariffs under the Japan-EU deal. But for 10 of the 25 products, including soft cheeses such as blue cheese and wheat-related food preparations, Britain will be able to use any low-tariff quota left over by the EU. As for agricultural products exported from Japan, the U.K. abolished tariffs on major items including beef … Continue reading

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Hida beef producers celebrates new Hida-gyu wrapping bus debut in Gifu Prefecture

GIFU, Nov. 28 – A highway express bus with a bus wrap of newly-designed Hida beef images will start operating on November 28, 2020. A council of Hida beef producers and a local bus operator, Nohi Noriai Jidosha Co., Ltd., will operate the Hida beef wrapping bus for three years, mainly on the routes that connect Takayama with Nagoya and Tokyo. On one side, the bus has an impressive image of a woman eating Hida beef, and on the other side, it has a 3-D image of big beautiful pieces of Hida beef. It runs across Japan to boost the Hida beef industry’s operation, which was hit hard by the … Continue reading

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Ox-shaped lucky daruma doll making at peak before New Year’s Day in Japan

KANAGAWA, Nov. 12 – A shop in Hiratsuka, Kanagawa Prefecture, is now super-busy making cow-shaped lucky dolls called “eto daruma” for sales during the year change period. Arai Darumaya is an old firm specialized in producing “Soshu daruma,” a papier-mache doll with a long-established tradition that dates back to the Keio era, more than 150 years ago. The shop makes an original animal-shaped daruma doll every year as a lucky charm for the new year. In the Chinese zodiac calendar, 2021 is the year of the ox, so it’s currently making the dolls in the shape of a milking cow. The local artisans paste several pieces of “washi” traditional paper … Continue reading

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JA Group Ibaraki and Kubota holds drive-in-theater-style agricultural machine show avoiding 3Cs

IBARAKI, Dec. 3 – An agricultural cooperative group in Ibaraki Prefecture (JA Group Ibaraki) and Kubota Corporation held a very new agricultural machinery show at the JA Agricultural Machinery Center in Ibaraki Town, Ibaraki Prefecture. The show was held in a setting like a drive-in theater, avoiding 3Cs (closed, crowded, and close-contact environments) and the spread of COVID-19 for the first time as an agricultural cooperative in Japan. A 270-inch monitor was placed on one side of the center stage to display product descriptions. Approximately 130 people, mostly corporative members, booked the tickets in advance and enjoyed the show sitting in 67 vehicles in the parking lots. The attendees listened … Continue reading

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CowTuber Kazuma Tanaka beaming messages directly to consumers from Kami Town, Hyogo prefecture

HYOGO, Nov. 2 – A Japanese wagyu beef breeder in Kami, Hyogo Prefecture, the town known as one of the producers of high-quality Tajima-brand beef, is actively sharing his warm views on wagyu and scenes from his daily life on a video-sharing website YouTube. Despite being a certified cattle hoof trimmer and a super-busy manager of the farm that also handles meat processing and direct sales, the 42-year-old cattleman has created over 240 “CowTube” videos so far. “I want to show the deep and rich part of the life of a cattleman,” he said. “Hi, I’m Kazuma Tanaka from Tanaka Chikusan!” His YouTube post always starts with this cheerful greeting. … Continue reading

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