Japan determined to clinch TPP trade deal without US at APEC

TOKYO, Nov. 3 — Japanese Economy Minister Toshimitsu Motegi said on Nov. 2 that Japan is determined to strike a new trade agreement in principle on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) without the United States during the Nov. 8-9 ministerial meeting in Vietnam. “I am determined to make a new deal at the meeting,” said Motegi at a press conference. Officials from the 11 TPP members met in Urayasu city, near Tokyo, from Oct. 31 to Nov. 1. They managed to narrow differences, by focusing the list of provisions that will be put on ice in the hopes that the U.S. will return to the TPP. The negotiators now hope progress … Continue reading

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Japan-born Shine Muscat grapes gaining worldwide popularity

TOKYO, Nov. 2 – Growers of Shine Muscat grapes are recently enjoying brisk business, backed by the overwhelming popularity of the variety known for its sweet and aromatic taste and large, seedless berries that can be eaten without peeling. After the variety was registered in 2006, its cultivation quickly spread nationwide to become the leading breed. It is also gaining popularity in overseas markets, prompting foreign buyers to contact growers to do business with them directly. Because the variety has long shelf-life, it can be shipped through winter even after the production peak is over, helping to boost farmers’ profits. Farmers expanding production as buyers flock to the variety at … Continue reading

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Protesters call for Japanese government’s transparency over TPP trade talks

TOKYO, Nov. 7 – Two days before the meeting of the leaders of Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) member countries in Danang, Vietnam, a group of protestors including those involved in consumers’ cooperative societies and the agricultural industry gathered in front of the House of Councillors’ Office Building in Tokyo, Japan, to protest against the government’s stance on the TPP free trade deal. The protestors strongly criticized that the government is trying to reach a broad agreement at the TPP talks, scheduled on November 9, 2017, without explaining the nation the progress of the discussions and the contents of the deal. “The government is ignoring people’s concerns over the deal. We’ll … Continue reading

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Greenhouses glowing at night to grow high-quality chrysanthemums (in Tahara town, Aichi Prefecture)

AICHI, Nov. 5 – A number of greenhouses are glowing and creating a breathtaking night view in Tahara town, Aichi Prefecture. What creates this most spectacular scenery is lighting in chrysanthemum nurseries set by local farmers. In other words, it’s the latest skills and techniques of farmers that light up one of Japan’s largest chrysanthemum producers. You can enjoy the magnificent night view from a lookout at the height of approximately 150 meters in the park called Akabane Bunka no Mori. At around 9 p.m., glowing greenhouses appeared in the darkness as the farmers turned on the lights to keep the short-day plant nurseries bright. The greenhouses were lit up … Continue reading

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Japan’s land with unknown owners to reach 7.2mln ha by 2040

TOKYO, Oct. 27 — A glut of property whose owners are unknown could take up some 7.2 million hectares by 2040 in Japan, a governmental group’s study has shown. That area is nearly as big as the whole of the northern island of Hokkaido, said an expert group on unclaimed property set up by the Japanese government at an Oct. 26 press conference. The group pointed out the growing presence of such properties will impede collection of asset taxes by local authorities as well as hamper public work construction and government projects such as consolidation of farmland. As of now, there is an estimated 4.1 million ha of property with … Continue reading

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