Business Apr 9, 2015

JA chief resigns after farm reform battle with Abe

The head of JA-Zenchu, Japan's largest farm lobby and biggest opponent of a U.S.-led trade deal, announced his resignation a week after Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's Cabinet submitted a bill to the Diet to weaken its power. Akira Banzai, the chairman who was re-elected in ...

National / Politics Apr 3, 2015

Cabinet approves JA-Zenchu reform bill

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's Cabinet on Friday approved a bill to help reform the agriculture sector by estranging a politically powerful farming lobby by revising agriculture laws. The move is part of Abe's effort to ensure long-term economic growth through structural reforms. The government is ...

Editorials Feb 3, 2015

Abe's farm cooperative reforms

The Abe administration has yet to provide a convincing explanation on how its agricultural reform plan will strengthen Japan's farming sector and enhance consumer interests.

National Aug 16, 2014

Japanese in 20s prefer rice to bread for breakfast: survey

More than half of Japanese in their 20s prefer to eat rice for breakfast instead of bread, as they say it makes them feel full for a longer period, an online survey by the governing body of the nation's agricultural cooperatives showed Saturday. The poll, ...

Editorials Jun 27, 2014

Abe's drive to reform agriculture

Given the limited impact of proposed farm-sector reform on Japan's economic growth, there is speculation that the push for reform on the prime minister's part is driven mainly by a desire to weaken the political influence of JA-Zenchu.

Business Jun 16, 2014

LDP primes farm sector for ventures

by Aya Takada

The Liberal Democratic Party wants to increase corporate participation in agriculture to boost the competitiveness of Japanese farms as pressure increases to cut import tariffs. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's party is considering allowing nonfood firms to take almost 50 percent stakes in farming entities, up ...

National / Politics | ANALYSIS Jun 13, 2014

Details of JA-Zenchu reform left unclear

by Reiji Yoshida

Will the core entity of Japan's monster agricultural conglomerate survive mounting public criticism of its huge vested interests? That question remained unanswered Friday as a deregulation panel submitted a policy recommendation to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe that includes a call to reform the Central Union ...