【News】 Strong opposition emerging among Diet members of Japan’s ruling party against coming Japan-U.S. economic dialogue (March 11, 2017)

The ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) held a joint meeting of its Research Commission on Agriculture, Forestry and Food Strategy and other major farm caucuses on March 10 to discuss possible agendas for the upcoming “Japan-U.S. economic dialogue.” In a statement submitted to the World Trade Organization (WTO) on March 8, Donald Trump’s U.S. administration urged Japan to liberalize its markets of farm products, accusing Japan of imposing high tariffs on imports of agricultural products as well as maintaining state-controlled farm trade. Responding to this statement, LDP’s Diet members raised oppositions one after another at the joint meeting against any kind of proposals on further opening of domestic farm markets … Continue reading

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【News】 Eighty-three cooperative organizations in Kanagawa prefecture to disseminate values of UNESCO’s Heritage “Cooperatives” (March 10, 2017)

“Kanagawa Prefectural Joint Committee of Cooperatives” was set up on March 7 in Yokohama, a capital city of the prefecture, by 83 cooperative organizations such as agricultural cooperatives, fisheries cooperatives, forest owners’ cooperatives, consumers’ cooperatives and workers’ cooperatives. The Kanagawa Committee of Cooperatives aims at facilitating activities to disseminate values of cooperatives among the people in the prefecture. The Committee also plans to organize seminars and lectures open to students and citizens in collaboration with universities and academic people in the prefecture. “Cooperatives” were registered as an intangible cultural heritage of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organizations (UNESCO) last November. In Japan, however, it is not yet well … Continue reading

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【News】 Diet members of Japan’s ruling party to launch “Rice Production Project” this spring (March 8, 2017)

The ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) will start a “Rice Production Project” early summer and a group of LDP Diet members learn how to carry out farm works from transplanting of rice seedlings to harvesting, Toshihiro Nikai, LDP’s Secretary-General, said at the press conference held on March 7. Secretary-General Toshihiro Nikai took the leadership in initiating the Project, in which he has confidence, saying “It is no use talking about agricultural policies without knowing how to transplant rice seedlings.” In this Project, young Diet members and other members elected at constituencies mostly in the Tokyo metropolitan area will join hard works at a 10-are paddy field in Ome city, Tokyo. … Continue reading

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【News】 Most of community-based farm management entities find their business conditions tough with current low level of rice prices (March 8, 2017)

More than 80 percent of community-based farm management entities including similar organizations find their business conditions tough, saying “Rice marketing business will be barely balancing,” or “Our incomes will not be able to cover expenses,” if prices of 2016 rice crop are continuously stagnating at low level in the market, Japan Agricultural News’ latest survey on business conditions surrounding farm management entities found. The survey was conducted this February by polling 108 farm management entities in the country, out of which 61 entities had replied by the end of the month. About 70 percent of these 61 entities increased their incomes in fiscal 2016, which was realized by consecutive price … Continue reading

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【News】Agricultural cooperative in Hokkaido signs partnership agreement with Tasmanian training organization (March 1, 2017)

JA Biei, an agricultural cooperative in Hokkaido, signed an agreement with TasTAFE, a training organization run by the government of Tasmania, Australia, on Feb. 28 to offer young Japanese farmers training and research opportunities during the winter. JA Biei hopes to make the agreement the initial step towards setting up business in Tasmania, which is located in the southern hemisphere with the seasons opposite to those of Japan, so that Japanese farmers can export farm products from Australia when farming in Japan is in off-season. The Memorandum of Understanding was signed by Tomeo Kumagai, head of JA Biei, and Jeremy Rockliff, Tasmania’s Deputy Premier and Minister for Education and Training, … Continue reading

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