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National Federation of Processed Fisheries Products Cooperatives Comments on New Year

January 22, 2009

Yohei Saito, chairman of the National Federation of Processed Fisheries Products Cooperatives, made comments on the New Year on January 21, 2009. He outlined four main challenges that the seafood processing industry is facing: 1) tightening conditions of procuring raw materials for processing; 2) securement of food safety and assurance consumers demand; 3) facilitation of funds as a prompt response to business operations with growing difficulties; and 4) handling of increases in imports of processed marine products from foreign countries. He said, "We are determined to conquer the present challenging circumstance by making every possible effort, so that we can maintain and develop the seafood processing industry and that we can contribute to local revitalizations."

As for the issue of raw material procurement, he commented: "Aiming for secure, stable supply of raw material fish domestically and internationally, we will aggressively run purchasing and distribution operations." As a part of strategies, the cooperatives will implement effective operation of Tohoku Daiichi Refrigeration (Shiogama City, Miyagi Prefecture), which has been in operation since March 2008. In addition, utilization of little used and untapped fish in the domestic waters and development of new products will be put into action.

In order to guarantee food safety and assurance, a plan generated last year for this goal will be implemented. He furthermore emphasized the importance of thorough compliance of behavior standards on member enterprises as well as on the industry as a whole. With regard to administrative funds, he said, "The seafood manufacturing industry was designated as one of the target industries for a safety net guarantee system, and therefore, smooth facilitation of funds can be expected."

Lastly, he spoke of requests for the Fisheries Agency: "Based on the fundamental fisheries law with newly added philosophy of steady supply of marine products for the nation and robust growth of the marine industry, I request that the Agency provide drastic and powerful support for restoration of the seafood processing industry in distress."

The original article was published on January 22, 2009 and was translated by Kiyo Hayasaka.

Fisheries Research Agency Conducts Experimental Sales of Swordfish for Sashimi

January 21, 2009

The Fisheries Research Agency will conduct experimental sales of swordfish, widely used for cooking and steaks, at six different locations of Miyagi Co-op in the City of Sendai on January 23 and 24. The purpose of the special sales is to have the fish known as a sashimi material.

For the sake of recovery of coastal tuna longlining fisheries in distressed conditions, caused by the high fuel costs and low fish prices, the Agency designated the Port of Kesennuma and a next generation of coastal tuna longliner, "Kaisei Maru," as the base stations; and offered continuous efforts to realize cost reductions and enhance added value.

Kesennuma has a custom of consuming swordfish as sashimi; with the aim of getting other regions to experience this delicious way of utilizing the fish, the Agency will sell fresh swordfish caught by "Kaisen Maru" in the eastern Sanriku waters for a limited time.

Upon sales of the fish, buyers will be provided a survey and the acquired information will be used to further publicize this particular way of consuming the fish. Campaign locations are Sakuraga Oka store, Ayashi store, Saiwai-cho store, Tsutsujiga Oka store, Yagiyama store, and Hachiman-machi store.

The original article was published on January 21, 2009 and was translated by Kiyo Hayasaka.

Nissui Suffers Foreign Exchange Loss of \1.9 Billion

January 20, 2009

Nippon Suisan will post a loss from foreign exchanges; a total of approximately \1.9 billion (\800 million as a single entity), caused by volatile movements of currency rates, for the third quarter of the fiscal year ending in March 2010.

Additionally, an appraised loss of \1.707 billion (\1.236 billion as an individual entity) will be posted as an extraordinary loss, as a result of a plunge in investment account securities.

The original article was published on January 20, 2009 and was translated by Kiyo Hayasaka.

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