Under the new compromise, American exporters will be able to ship to Japan beef from cattle that are less than 30 months old. Previously, Japan would only accept U.S. beef from cattle ages 20 months and younger. Administration officials hailed the change as a boon to U.S. cattle ranchers.
As this Japanese TV news report shows, some supermarkets in Japan are already announcing price drops for American beef:
For one cut of beef, the price at Seiyu(Walmart) supermarkets has dropped from 127 to 97 yen per 100 grams!
Over the last year, the relationship between Japan and China has considerably worsened due to increased Chinese provocations over the Senkaku Islands. The dispute between the two states led to anti-Japanese rioting in China and the cancellation of many cultural exchange events.
However, it’s not all bad news. Here is a news story about a Coming of Age ceremony that was held in Beijing for Chinese and Japanese youths:
One young Chinese man tells the Japanese reporter that although there is a dispute between their countries’ governments, it is a good thing for the peoples of both nations to improve their relations through private exchange events. A young Japanese man says that the change of leadership in both Japan and China is a good chance for the countries to improve relations.
Want to support the people of Fukushima prefecture, but don’t have to time to travel up to Tohoku? Don’t worry – if you come to Tokyo, you can shop at one of Fukushima’s two special “antenna” shops.
The shop is a bit small, but it is selling plenty of great products. It has a wide variety of food, some of it refrigerated, and some in omiyage-style snack boxes. They also sell sake and fruit juice produced in the prefecture. Some products celebrate famous Fukushima people, such as scientist Hideyo Noguchi. And there are some cool traditional crafts.
They also sell beautiful Obori Somayaki cups, mugs, and plates:
These were produced by an artist who was based in Namie, a town that had to be evacuated after the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear accident. The cups and plates are beautifully crafted, with cool double-layer designs and painted images of horses. Most are sold for between 1,800 and 3,000 yen a piece. It’s a pretty reasonable price for such a fine piece of art.
The store also sells stuffed versions of Kibitan, Fukushima’s cute mascot bird. About the size of a small teddy bear, these sell for 2,100 yen each.
If you are looking for some last minute Christmas gifts, it would be a good idea to check out this shop. You can buy some neat Japanese crafts and food items while supporting the recovery of a prefecture that suffered greatly because of the damage brought by the 3/11 disaster (and the subsequent international fear campaign by anti-nuclear activists).