Abe’s fourth Cabinet picks Taku Eto as new MAFF minister to lead steady development of agricultural policy reform

TOKYO, Sep. 12 – The fourth Abe Cabinet was formed on November 11. It appointed Taku Eto as the Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries. Eto, a first-time minister, used to be an assistant to the prime minister Shinzo Abe. He is an expert of an agriculture and forestry policy in LDP. Abe intends to strengthen efforts to address Japan-US trade agreement, swine fever and all other urgent agricultural issues and drive the reform of agricultural policy with the appointment of his close aide. Eto indicated that he would consider reviewing the outline of the policy regarding the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP), taking into account the Japan-US trade agreement. At … Continue reading

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Japan’s farm minister to allow swine fever vaccination

TOKYO, Sep. 21 – In the battle against swine fever, Taku Eto, Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries of Japan, has decided to start preparing for the change the country’s epidemic prevention policy. After the policy change, the country is going to introduce a new vaccination program for pigs grown at pig farms, he said. The revision will make it possible to vaccinate pigs based on the permission by a governor of each prefecture. However, there will be several issues to be clarified, such as target areas, and the ministry intends to discuss with experts and representatives of prefectures to establish a concrete plan. The revision is expected to take … Continue reading

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Typhoon Faxai’s record-strong wind hits farmers in Kanto region

CHIBA, Sep. 10 – A strong typhoon Faxai landed Chiba, near Tokyo, before 5 a.m. It was the largest typhoon landed in the Kanto region and registered a maximum instantaneous wind speed of 57.5 meters per second in Chuo Ward, Chiba City, 49 meters in Kisarazu City, Chiba Prefecture, and 43.2 meters in Ota Ward, Tokyo. The powerful storm slammed pears, kiwis and many other ripe fruits and knocked down greenhouses, causing devastating damage on farmers. Local agricultural cooperatives (JAs) were swamped by the work to confirm the loss. From September 8 to 9, the massive typhoon Faxai traveled over the Izu Island chain and the Kanto region before it … Continue reading

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Bonsai Art Museum in Saitama gives first workshop for non-Japanese bonsai fans

SAITAMA, Aug. 31 – The Omiya Bonsai Art Museum, Saitama, in Saitama Prefecture gave a workshop for inbound visitors to Japan for the first time on August 30, 2019. The workshop “Saitama International Bonsai Academy” was participated by three non-Japanese bonsai lovers from Singapore and the U.K. They enjoyed a guided tour of the museum and learned the tips for appreciating the art and its history. Then, they had the first-hand experience of trimming and replanting young Japanese black pines. The instructor of the class was a 36-year-old bonsai professional from the U.S., Adam Jones, an owner of a bonsai export company “Tree House Bonsai” in Ami Town, Ibaraki Prefecture. … Continue reading

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Swine fever still spreading in Japan after 1-year effort to end outbreak: 40 cases found in 4 prefectures

TOKYO, Sep. 10 – A year has passed since Japan found its first swine fever case in 26 years at a pig farm on September 9, 2018. So far, more than 130,000 pigs were culled at 40 pig farms in four prefectures. New cases are found every week. The measures to contain the disease have not been successful, and farmers are increasingly exhausted. In the past twelve months, the outbreak expanded from Gifu Prefecture to Aichi, Mie, and Fukui Prefecture, and the number of the cases reached 40 by September 8. Wild boars which carry the virus are found in Nagano, Toyama, and Ishikawa Prefectures, and they are making the … Continue reading

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