Japan’s PM Abe seeks removing barriers to boost farm exports

TOKYO, Dec. 20 ― Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has stressed that his administration is pushing countries to ease up on restrictions and open their market access for Japanese agricultural products. Pointing out that China and Hong Kong have recently relaxed some import restrictions on Japanese food, Abe said: “We are cracking the door open a little wider.” The prime minister spoke at the Dec. 19 general assembly of the national council for export promotion of agricultural products, a key public-private joint initiative to boost Japanese agricultural exports. Japan has set a target of 1 trillion yen in agricultural exports in 2019. Last year, the country’s agriculture exports totaled a record … Continue reading

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Japan food exports in October rise to JYP 79.8 billion yen on beef, rice and apples, up 15% over previous year

TOKYO, Dec, 25 – Japan’s exports of agricultural, forestry and fishery products and foods in October were 79.8 billion yen, up 15% year-over-year, according to the data released by the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries of Japan. The exports in the ten months from January to October 2018 also increased by 15% compared to the same period last year. On both the monthly and the ten-month-total basis, the exports of beef, rice, and apples grew significantly. Although the growth rate is larger than the ratio required to meet the ministry’s 1-trillion-yen goal for Japan’s food exports in 2019, whether Japan can keep the ratio at this high level throughout … Continue reading

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Japan’s pineapple acreage expands on agro-tourism business

TOKYO, Dec. 18 ― Japan’s acreage for pineapple plants expanded for the fifth consecutive year in 2018, with growing demand for agro-tourism businesses, government data has shown. The pineapple acreage in Okinawa prefecture, the only region that cultivates the tropical fruit in Japan, rose 4% to 565 hectares in 2018 from a year earlier, according to the agriculture ministry. That exceeded the 560 hectares in 2008. All that is playing into agro-tourism, in which tourists visit pineapple farms, harvest the fruit and taste fresh pineapples, an official from the agriculture ministry explained.

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Japan’s draft budget for fiscal 2019 exceeds 100 trillion yen

TOKYO, Dec. 22 ― Japan’s cabinet has approved a draft budget of record 101.5 billion yen, or about 900 billion dollars, for fiscal 2019, partly due to economic stimulus measures in response to a planned hike in the consumption tax in October 2019. The next fiscal year’s budget would mark the seventh consecutive year that the Japanese government spending sets a record high. The budget plan, approved at a Dec. 21 cabinet meeting, includes agriculture spending of 2.43 trillion yen, up 5.6% from fiscal 2018. This is an increase in the agriculture sector for the first time in three years. “The agriculture budget was important to implement key measures to … Continue reading

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Abe cabinet approves completion of Japan-EU FTA ratification

TOKYO, Dec. 22 ― The trade agreement between Japan and the EU is set to enter into force in February 2019, after being approved by both parliaments this month. Japan’s cabinet on Dec. 21 approved the completion of the Japan-EU Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) ratification procedure, after the Japanese parliament had voted in favor of the mega free trade deal earlier this month. With the European Parliament and the EU council have also ratified the deal, it will come into force on Feb. 1, 2019. The new EPA will eliminate 82 percent of tariffs on EU’s agricultural exports to Japan. It will also give EU food exporters greater access to … Continue reading

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