• Kyodo

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Food wholesaler Yuasa Funashoku Co., based in Funabashi, Chiba Prefecture, said Saturday that the farm ministry has ordered it to improve its operations after it falsely labeled 3,215 tons of rice.

The company, listed on the Second Section of the Tokyo Stock Exchange and mainly supplying supermarkets in the Kanto region, said at a news conference that it falsely stated the origin of milled rice shipped between October last year and February.

The order to improve operations was issued by the Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Ministry under the Japanese Agricultural Standards law and the company will be fined if it fails to abide by the order.

Hiroshi Ueda, the company’s president, said the firm falsely labeled 21 brands of rice.

In one case, the company mixed rice produced in Chiba Prefecture with a popular brand of rice produced in Yamagata Prefecture. They then shipped the rice to supermarkets in Chiba under the Yamagata brand.

Ueda said the company had large stocks of less popular rice and mixed it in with popular brands.

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