Tag Archives: Feature

【Feature】Winter beauty of harmonic life of man and nature in Japan (Jan. 1, 2016)

  The landscape of Japanese farm villages changes dramatically from season to season. Winter in Japan is generally very cold, but even the cold weather brings with it some amazing sceneries. Please enjoy some of them that are brought to us by the harmonious life of men and nature in Japan. – Snow-covered quiet satoyama  – Kazuhiro Eguchi (in Nanto-shi, Toyama Prefecture) Ainokura is a remote village in the Gokayama region, Nanto, Toyama Prefecture. In winter when heavy snow covers its traditional thatched- and steep-roofed gassho-zukuri houses, the village turns monochrome as if it’s a Chinese ink-wash painting. There are two gassho-zukuri villages in Gokayama: Ainokura and Suganuma. In 1995, … Continue reading

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【Feature】 Rice prices post record low levels reflecting excessive supply and lowering consumption (Sept. 15, 2014)

  Payments offered to rice farmers who entrust sales of this year’s harvest to agricultural co-operatives have been showing unprecedentedly low levels. Cross trading prices for rice sold to wholesalers are also set at low levels, as private inventory levels remained high for two consecutive years, loosening the supply-demand balance in the market. Reflecting the aging society and spread of healthy eating habits, many restaurants and takeout food manufacturers are reducing the amount of rice per serving, contributing to further decline in rice consumption. The amount of money given to producers of this year’s rice harvest was JPY1,500 to 3,000 lower per 60 kg from a year before, breaking the … Continue reading

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【Feature】Contaminated pasture grass left abandoned in disaster-hit Miyagi (March 11, 2014)

  Hiroki Chiba, 57, a cattle breeder in Tome, Miyagi Prefecture who owns 60 Japanese breeding cows, keeps 50 rolls – weighing roughly 20 tons – of packaged pasture grass harvested in 2011 on a 50-are land next to his cowshed. The grass contains 8,000 becquerels or less per kilogram of radioactive fallout from the March 2011 triple meltdown at Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant. The grass rolls are estimated to weigh around 400 to 500 kilograms each. Each of the rolls gained at least 100 kilograms more weight while left out in the open, as rainwater sank into the grass through the deteriorated plastic … Continue reading

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【Feature】Fighting world hunger – rice breeding (Feb. 19, 2014)

  Yuu Kawasaki Between the 1940s and 1960s, the Asian and African countries succeeded in largely increasing grain yields through introduction of new varieties and improving cultivation methods, thanks to the so-called Green Revolution, a series of research and technology transfer initiatives to save people from starvation. The International Rice Research Institute based in Los Banos, located 65km southeast of the Philippines’ capital city of Manila, is one of the major contributors to this movement. The institute is an agricultural research and training organization and a member of the CGIAR consortium, a global partnership that unites organizations engaged in research to fight poverty and hunger. Along with other rice varieties, … Continue reading

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【Feature】Questions and answers on the latest news – Trade Promotion Authority, TPA (Feb. 12, 2014)

  Top bipartisan leaders from both the Senate and the House of Representatives of United States Congress jointly introduced the trade promotion authority (TPA) bill last month. The legislation is seen as crucial for final passage of pending negotiations, most notably the Trans-Pacific Partnership free-trade talks. Here are some tips regarding the bill. Q. What is TPA? Does it have anything to do with the TPP talks? A. TPA – previously known as the fast track negotiating authority – makes it easier for the president of the United States to negotiate international trade agreements. The U.S. Constitution gives Congress authority over trade negotiations with foreign governments. Therefore, without TPA, Congress … Continue reading

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