【News】 Ministerial meeting between Japan and EU fails to break deadlock on EPA talks (Feb. 19, 2017)

Negotiations on the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) between Japan and the European Union (EU) have reached a deadlock. Regarding talks on farm trade, one of major agendas of the talks, EU negotiators have been continuously taking a strong attitude demanding Japan to open its market at a higher level. It is still difficult for Japan and EU to bridge the distance. Japan’s Minister for Foreign Affairs, Fumio Kishida, met his counterpart Cecilia Malmström, EU’s Commissioner for Trade, at Bonn, Germany, on February 17, when the G20 Foreign Ministers Meeting was held there. Although Minister Kishida and Commissioner Malmström confirmed their intention to make an early broad agreement on EPA, they … Continue reading

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【News】 Fig genome sequence decoded for the first time in the world to further improve its taste: Fukuoka Agricultural Institute and others in Japan (Feb. 15, 2017)

A sequence of fig’s genome was successfully decoded for the first time in the world jointly by Fukuoka Agriculture and Forestry Research Center operated by the Fukuoka Prefectural Government in Chikushino city, Kazusa DNA Research Institute based at Kisarazu city, Chiba prefecture, and Kyushu University. Researchers of the Fukuoka Research Center expect that the latest genome decoding will make it possible for them to shorten the time of fig plant breeding approximately from 15 to 7 years. It is also expected that presence of a gene controlling a shape and sweet taste of a fig fruit will be identified at a stage of seedling of a fig plant. It has … Continue reading

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【News】Project of creating mythical “red string of fate” aims to raise public awareness on genetic engineering (Jan. 31, 2017)

A project is under way to realize the East Asian mythology that the gods tie an invisible “red string of fate” between those who are destined to fall in love. Sputniko!, a mathematician-turned-artist and an assistant professor of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Media Lab in the United States, approached Hideki Sezutsu, head of the Transgenic Silkworm Research Unit at the National Agriculture and Food Research Organization, with an idea to spin the mythical string by inserting genes that produce oxytocin, widely referred to as the love hormone, into silkworm eggs. The project, which utilizes genetically engineered silkworms developed in Japan, is also aimed at giving consumers, many of whom … Continue reading

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【News】 Emirates Halal Center authorized by UAE opens in Tokyo to facilitate granting Halal certification (Feb. 14, 2017)

Emirates Halal Center, a Halal certification agency authorized by the Government of United Arab Emirates (UAE), was set up at Minato ward, Tokyo on February 13. The Center issues Halal certificates which are to be required for exporting Halal goods to UAE. It is the first agency that was established out of the country. Halal certification systems observing Islamic precepts differ from country to country, which makes it necessary for trading firms to obtain respective Halal certificates according to the destination of Halal goods. The authority of UAE requires trading companies to get Halal certificates for processed and other foods except perishable ones. Before the Center is established in Tokyo, … Continue reading

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【News】 Japan’s soy milk production hit fresh record in 2016: Habitual drinking and cooking boost consumption (Feb. 14, 2017)

Demand for soy milk has been continuously increasing in Japan. According to a survey conducted by Japan Soymilk Association based at Chiyoda ward, Tokyo, production of soy milk increased 3.5 percent to 313,999 kiloliters in 2016, hitting the record for nine straight years since 2008. Habitual drinkers of the soy milk increased in the health-oriented market. Extension of its uses particularly in cooking and confectionery production has also given a boost to its consumption. Among many kinds of the soy milk, production of non-adjusted soy milk remarkably rose 13.2 percent to 75,933 kiloliters. Adjusted soy milk, which has the biggest share in the total production of soy milk, also boosted … Continue reading

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