【Series】 Our No no Ikebana:“Large tools can make your arrangement dramatic,” says Hiroyo Yahiro from Chikushino city, Fukuoka Prefecture

Today, let’s hear from Hiroyo Yahiro, 69, from Chikushino city, Fukuoka Prefecture, about how she enjoys No no Ikebana “I got to know about No no Ikebana in 1999 through my friend. In 2007, the Women’s Group of JA Chikushi, an agricultural cooperative in Fukuoka Prefecture, decided to have a local No no Ikebana group, which is now run by seven members to present arrangements mainly for JA events and meetings, maybe eight times a year. With my arrangement, I always treasure the season we are in now. I do so by using agricultural products, plants and flowers of the season and focusing on seasonal events like a girls’ festival … Continue reading

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Tokyo Olympic Village likely to consume 13 tons of rice and 19 tons of beef, report says

TOKYO Aug. 8 - The Tokyo Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games said on August 7, 2017, that Tokyo Olympic Village is likely to need approximately 600 tons of agricultural, forestry and fishery products to provide meals to Olympians. The committee has reached this number by adding up item-by-item estimates that include 13 tons of rice and grains and 19 tons of beef. It looked at the quantities of food offered at Olympics, Paralympics and other international tournaments in the past to make the forecast. However, the committee also pointed out that this number “is very likely to grow further.” By item, the village is said to require … Continue reading

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Gulf Japan Food Fund invests in new bakery chain in Dubai to expand food and agricultural exports from Japan

TOKYO, Aug. 2 – On August 1, 2017, the Gulf Japan Food Fund (GJFF), a private equity fund established by the Central Cooperative Bank for Agriculture, Forestry and Fishery (the Norinchukin Bank), Mizuho Bank, and other investors, said that it invested in Yamanote Atelier Restaurant, a firm developing a new bakery business in Dubai, the U.A.E, in July this year. Yamanote Atelier Restaurant is a new bakery chain created around the concept of “Japanese bakery.” It emphasizes high quality and food safety and imports ingredients such as wheat and beverage from Japan. This was the first investment made through the fund. The investors including the Norinchukin Bank anticipate that the … Continue reading

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Japan’s food self-sufficiency rate drops after six years in 2016

TOKYO, Aug. 10 — Japan’s food self-sufficiency dropped for the first time in six years to the second lowest level, due to steadily declining consumption of rice, the country’s stable food, as well as poor harvest in northern Japan after heavy rains. The calorie-based rate of food self-sufficiency in 2016 fell to 37.58 percent, the agriculture ministry said Aug. 09. The country’s lowest figure was 37 percent in 1993, after the unusually cold and rainy summer had damaged the rice crop, and forced Tokyo to make a move often considered taboo – importing foreign rice – at that time. The food self-sufficiency rate shows how much a country can satisfy … Continue reading

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【Analysis】The truth about Japan’s falling food self-sufficiency (Aug. 10)

Japan’s food self-sufficiency in calorie terms dropped for the first time in six years due in part to agricultural output dipping significantly after unfavorable weather conditions. This is, however, not the whole story. The Japanese government has sought to open its agricultural market for growth, yet it has remained negligent when it comes to food security. The administration of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has, since the beginning of 2013, sought trade liberalization via a series of free trade agreements: Japan-Australia economic partnership agreement (EPA); the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP); and most recently the Japan-EU EPA. Those agreements were reached on increased market access for foreign farm products in Japan, in exchange … Continue reading

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