agriculture

'IT wave' sweeps over rice paddies with smartphones, computerized...
A smart rice-planting machine traverses a paddy in Niigata's Akiha Ward. It automatically adjusts the amount of fertilizer by linking with a smartphone or a computer. (Kazutaka Kamizawa)
NIIGATA--In mid-May, Junichi Hirano was out working his rice paddies in Akiha Ward.
Minami-Soma lambastes government, TEPCO for remaining mum on rice...
Minami-Soma Mayor Katsunobu Sakurai (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
Residents of Minami-Soma in Fukushima Prefecture expressed anger with the government and Tokyo Electric Power Co. for keeping them in the dark about radiation that contaminated ...
Toyota Tsusho invests in Kazakhstan agricultural business
Toyota Tsusho Corp. invests in Kazakhstan agricultre company Koktem EA. (Provided by Toyota Tsusho Corp.)
Toyota Tsusho Corp. has become the first major Japanese trading company to venture into Kazakhstan’s agricultural industry.
Japan's highest-capacity solar power farm planned on Nagasaki...
The Asahi Shimbun
UKUJIMA, Nagasaki Prefecture--Four Japanese and a German company are teaming up to build a photovoltaic power plant with the nation’s highest generating capacity on an island ...
PHOTO: Women preserve rice planting tradition at World Heritage...
Local women dressed in "saotome" (female rice planters attire) participate in the Shirakawa-go rice planting festival in Shirakawa, Gifu Prefecture, on May 26. (Provided by Ogimachi, Shirakawa-go)
SHIRAKAWA, Gifu Prefecture--Under a light drizzle, 17 women wearing straw hats and traditional garments sowed rice seedlings on May 26 in this World Heritage village’s annual ...
Panasonic targets agriculture business with new high-tech...
A vinyl greenhouse is seen in this photo taken in Kadoma, Osaka Prefecture, where Panasonic Corp. is experimenting with spinach cultivation. The greenhouse is equipped with an automated system for controlling and creating the perfect growing environment. (Kohei Kondo)
Panasonic Corp. has started selling a new electronically controlled greenhouse that creates a more optimal cultivation environment, allowing farmers to grow some crops...
Study: Tomato plants swap odorant to repel infestation
The Asahi Shimbun
Tomato plants defend themselves against infestation by absorbing an odorant emitted by neighboring plants under attack and developing a compound hazardous to the invaders,...
Fukushima takes new approach to ease fears of radiation in food
Farmer Mikio Matsuura, left, tells a media tour group from Tokyo about his mixed feelings on restarting shipments of dried persimmons in Kunimi, Fukushima Prefecture. (Keiichiro Inoue)
Fukushima Prefecture is spending about 1.7 billion yen ($16.6 million) this fiscal year to fight rumors about radiation from the stricken nuclear plant that have led to...
Global warming likely to displace hundreds of millions
THE ASAHI SHIMBUN
Hundreds of millions of people mainly in Asia could be displaced by the end of this century as global warming causes sea levels to rise, according to a report by a special U.N. ...
Dairy farmer records changes to his Fukushima village
Kenichi Hasegawa (Photo by Maki Okubo)
DATE, Fukushima Prefecture--Kenichi Hasegawa’s home videos and photos do not contain the usual fare. They show cows heading for slaughter, villagers bidding farewell, and men ...
INSIGHT: For Chinese farmers, a rare welcome in Russia's Far East
USSURIYSK, Russia--Fourteen years ago, Chinese businessman Li Demin was asked to help bail out a struggling pig farm in the Russian trading city of Ussuriysk, close to the...
Shunned at home, Fukushima fruit farmers turn to Southeast Asia...
Peaches from Fukushima Prefecture line the shelves in a Bangkok department store on Aug. 30. They were all sold out in two days. (Provided by the Fukushima prefectural government)
DATE, Fukushima Prefecture--Toshiyuki Saito still manages to smile as he carefully packs his products that are banned in some overseas markets and the subject of health scares...
N. Korea sets up economic zone near military demarcation line
The Asahi Shimbun
SEOUL--North Korea is seeking investments for a new special economic zone in a sensitive military area along the Yellow Sea, a sign of increasing desperation by the...
EDITORIAL: Major reforms, not cosmetic changes, needed for...
A farmer harvests rice in Aomori. The government now plans to reform its rice farming policy. (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
The government and the ruling parties are embarking on a major review of the nation’s rice farming policy. The review could lead to the abolition of the long-standing...
BIZ BRIEF: Sojitz to invest in agriculture business in Brazil
Sojitz Corp. is set to enter the agriculture and grain collection business in Brazil, the trading company said Oct. 22.
First lady Akie Abe models farm work outfit at agricultural...
Akie Abe, wife of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, right, dresses in an agricultural work outfit designed by university students at a farm fashion show in Nagato, Yamaguchi Prefecture, on Oct. 13. (Nozomi Matsui)
NAGATO, Yamaguchi Prefecture--Chic agricultural fashions walked the runway at a cultural facility here Oct. 13 in a show produced in part by the wife of Prime Minister Shinzo...
BIZ BRIEF: Sumitomo Chemical's subsidiary opens Buenos Aires office
Sumitomo Chemical Co. announced Sept. 17 that its Brazilian subsidiary has opened a branch office in Buenos Aires.
Fujitsu turning idled chip factory into lettuce plant
Vegetable-growing systems have been installed on a trial basis in an idled Fujitsu Ltd. semiconductor plant in Aizu-Wakamatsu, Fukushima Prefecture. (Provided by Fujitsu Ltd.)
Fujitsu Ltd. will become the first major Japanese electronics maker to engage in full-scale vegetable production when it turns an idled semiconductor factory in Aizu-Wakamatsu, ...
VOX POPULI: Amid anxieties over TPP, LDP to revive income-doubling ...
Rice planting starts on March 27 in Kikugawa, Shizuoka Prefecture. (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
Along with the blooming of cherry blossoms and reports ov first sightings of insects and animals, one of the signs of spring is rice planting heading north across the Japanese...
Japan’s big bet on the Trans-Pacific Partnership: The TPP...
Japan’s participation in the TPP with 11 other Asia-Pacific nations is a game changer that could bring very positive payoffs for both Japan and the United States, Mireya...