Fisheries minister resigns
September 3, 2007
Takehiko Endo stepped down in money scandal after he had
been appointed minister of agriculture, forestry and fisheries
in Prime Minister Shinzo Abe`s cabinet reshuffle on Aug. 27.
A 68-year-old member of the Liberal Democratic Party has illegally
obtained \1.15 million from a farmer`s mutual aid association
in Yamagata Prefecture. He has been allegedly getting the
money by padding its membership numbers when applying for
a crop damage compensation scheme.
Endo said he would not resign as yet another money scandal
broke out just days after he took office in a shake-up aimed
at restoring the trouble-hit government image. But he was
bombarded with criticism from the opposition party and his
resignation is most likely.
Endo is known as an expert on farm policies based on his agricultural
and swine husbandry experiences.
After working as a Yamagata Prefectural Assemble member, he
won his Lower House seat in 1986 on the LDP ticket.
As an expert on the agriculture industry, he was appointed
senior vice president vice minister under Junichiro Koizumi,
former Prime Minister before Abe, and headed a government
task force in September 2001 to cope with Japan`s first case
of mad cow disease.
His two predecessors as farm chief were also embroiled in
money scandals. Norihiro Akagi was sacked by Abe last month
over questionable political funds, while Toshikatsu Matsuoka
hanged himself in May after being grilled over irregular accounting
for his office expenses and alleged links surfaced to bid
rigging cases connected to forestry-related work projects.
Tokai Denpun edged up slightly, while bottom-line
August 31, 2007
Tokai Denpun, a major fish trader in Japan, registered annual
sales of \154.8 billion modest increase of 1.9% from the previous
fiscal year, while net profits jumped 129.2% to \1.8 billion.
In addition to those figures, sales from the seafood sector
were \93.4 billion.
“Tokai Seapro, a subsidiary of Denpun, who specializes in
farming yellowtail and bream, also enjoyed a growth of 120%,
resulting in the company`s overall sales, said the company.
In a recent interview Kenji Junno, the president of Tokai
Denpu, looked back at the
previous year informing us of how the seafood sector is looking
by individual categories.
The international seafood trend highlights Alaskan Pollack,
a fish that is presently in high demand and of great value
to the customer. With less Surimi production and higher fillet
block production, the company is working on the development
of new Surimi products created from other fish such as golden
threadfin bream in Indonesia, China and Vietnam.
Asian countries positioned as alternative Surimi sources will
hopefully gain more widespread recognition. As a matter of
fact, almost 20% of the surimi the corporation purchases is
from this region of Asia and the date reveals that this trend
Surimi earned about \14 billion from the last fiscal year,
proving to be a vital asset for the entire company.
Emerging markets outside of Japan have been driving prices
up and as a result, forcing competition in the marketplace
to become fierce. While prices have risen, we see declining
prices which result in negative net worth.
Strong numbers of wild yellowtail caught in the fall induced
hovering sales of farmed fish. Although Salmon prices have
stayed relatively low due to increased output worldwide, the
company encumbered by the weak Japanese Yen and was unable
to lower purchasing costs.
Catch quota of the main source in Peru we well as high demand
in China raised fishmeal prices. Meal companies increased
selling prices and slashed the used amount of fishmeal. The
company secured sources from various vendors and was able
to boost sales.
Shiraken Kamaboko`s sales surpassed \3.4
August 30, 2007
Shiraken Kamaboko`s annual sales hit the company`s record
and surpassed \3.4 billion , crushing their previous company
record. Sales for the month of July were up 115.8% in comparison
to the previous fiscal year.
Ultimate factoring in to this increase in profits has been
their main ingredients, most notably Alaskan Pollack that
when blended with rockfish and black spot cardinal fish, creates
such a positive differences in taste, stated the company.
Confident in its future growth, the mid-sized Kamaboko maker
has just been issued patent approval for kneading fish meat
with iota air bubble which results in a “germ-free” fishcake.
Ichimasa witnessed 7.3% turnover growth
with healthy surimi sales
August 29, 2007
Ichimasa `s annual sales ending in June were \28 billion,
a 76% increase from the previous year. Operating profits climbed
whopping 194.7% to \420 million. Projected sales of the current
business period are \30 billion.
The company experienced adverse market conditions with respect
to it main ingredient, Surimi, and fuel. As a result, price
competition was severe.
“Under these circumstances, the second largest Surimi company
in Japan developed new items in addition to beefing up their
“bread-and-butter” products so to speak which can be attributed
to the sales growth,” stated the company.
The Surimi enterprise witnessed healthy sales increase of
7.3% to make \23.9 billion. “Our unique items, such as “Hanpen
(a white squared Surimi product) with cheese” as well as “Hanpen
with spicy cod roe with mayonnaise” differentiate ourselves
from rival products. Then too, one of our main staple products,
Satuma Age, is a deep-fried fishcake that is cooked in a special
oil that lowers LDL cholesterol and as a result, attracts
a great deal of health-conscious customers, the company added.
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