Executive of ruling Liberal Democratic Party expresses hope for China to ease ban on Japanese food imports

BEIJING, April 30 – Toshihiro Nikai, secretary-general of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, said during his visit to Beijing he hopes China will relax imports of Japanese farm products introduced following the 2011 Fukushima nuclear accident. “There is hope,” Nikai said during a news conference held on April 29 at the Japanese Embassy in Beijing. “We will offer cooperation as much as we can to pave the way (for this goal).” “Responding to many farmers’ expectations is one of the party’s most important issues,” he told reporters, stressing the LDP’s stance of attaching importance on agricultural policies. During his visit to China between April 24 and 29, Nikai urged the … Continue reading

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Japan ends SBS tenders to buy Australian rice for fiscal 2018

TOKYO, March 16 ― Japan has ended the simultaneous buy and sell (SBS) tending system to import table rice from Australia for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2018, through the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) without the U.S., also known as TPP-11. The last tender for the fiscal 2018 was held on March 14 and 15, reaching a total of 1,120 metric tons, according to the agriculture ministry. That was about a half of quota that Australia was given for the first implementation year of the TPP-11, which went into effect on Dec. 30, 2018, with six signatories: Japan, Mexico, Singapore, New Zealand, Canada and Australia. From the second year starting … Continue reading

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Trump calls on Abe to abolish tariffs on U.S. farm produce, determined to reach agreement on bilateral trade talks

WASHINGTON, April 28 – In a meeting with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on April 26 (April 27 Japan time) at the White House, U.S. President Donald Trump pushed Japan to end tariffs on U.S. agricultural products in the bilateral trade talks. Trump expressed determination to reach an agreement, indicating a deal might be reached by late May. Tokyo reiterated the need to proceed with the talks based on the joint statement issued by the two countries last September which stated that “with regard to agricultural, forestry, and fishery products, outcomes related to market access as reflected in Japan’s previous economic partnership agreements constitute the maximum level.” The Japanese officials said … Continue reading

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EU to lift import bans on milk and dairy products from Japan

TOKYO, March. 9 ― The EU is set to lift import bans on milk and dairy products from Japan on March 26, opening doors to Japanese products, such as cheese and cakes, the Japanese agriculture ministry has said. The announcement came after Japanese milk and dairy products were on the exemption list by the European Commission. It coincides the timing of the Japan-EU Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA), which took effect on Feb. 01. Products whose egg and dairy products content amounts to 50 percent and below can enter into the EU market as early as March 26. But products whose egg and dairy products content amounts to 50 percent and … Continue reading

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Strawberry shaped handmade dolls welcome visitors at Tochigi

MOOKA, March 3 ― Mooka, north of Tokyo, is Japan’s largest producer of strawberries. Now, the growers welcome visitors with strawberry-shaped handmade dolls hanging from ceiling. The timing coincides March 3, a Japanese traditional holiday, also known as Girls’ Day or Hina Matsuri, which wishes for the good health for young females in a family. It is customary to display beautiful dolls in the house. The strawberry growers started hanging the handmade dolls from ceiling since last year, as a way to promote the National Strawberry Summit, which will be taken place in March 2020 in Mooka, Tochigi prefecture.

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