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Maruha Nichiro Publishes Corporate Social Responsibility Report 2008

August 19, 2009

Maruha Nichiro Holdings published "Maruha Nichiro Group CSR Report 2008."

The report was created to present the group's involvements in the economy, environment, and society as much as possible and to have people feel close to the group, seeking opinions.

The group began releasing "Maruha Environmental Report," the very first in the fishing industry in 2003; and the name was changed to "CSR Report" from last year.

A special feature of this year's report is about measures that the group is taking for the steady supply and effective use of natural resources, in the midst of global competition over them.

With tuna and salmon as a navigator, "Protection and Nurture (marine resources
procurement)," "Production (safe product development)," and "Expansion (maximum use of marine resources)" are introduced individually.

The report and archive (from 2002 to present) can be downloaded at Copies of the report can be obtained for free at

The original article was published on August 19, 2009 and was translated by Kiyo Hayasaka.

Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, and Fishery
Seeks Participants in Boston Seafood Show

August 18, 2009

The Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, and Fishery (MAFF) will seek participants, a maximum of ten companies, in the Japan pavilion at the International Boston Seafood Show (IBSS2010), scheduled to be held on March 14 to 16, 2010. The MAFF will accept applications from August 24 through September 28.

The IBSS is the largest seafood trade show in North America. The IBSS2010 will be the 28th event. There were 818 participants from 36 different countries in the world, showcasing marine foods, processing machineries, freezer, defrosting machines, transport machines to name a few. More than 10,000 visitors from 88 countries attended the show. A total exhibition area of the IBSS2010 is approx. 15,000 square meters; of which, the Japan pavilion will be given 144 square meters, which includes communal space; each booth will occupy nice square meters. A design of stalls will be based on red and white colors.

The MAFF targets producers, processors, and traders of Japanese marine and processed products, which are exportable to and saleable in the US. A basic booth's installation and maintenance expenses, as well as a maintenance fee for the communal space will be paid for by the MAFF.

Transportation related expenses, such as import duties and customs clearing, and labor costs, including travel expenses and accommodations, will be taken care of by participating companies.

For details and applications, go to the website of the office of the IBSS2010 Japan Pavilion:

The original article was published on August 18, 2009 and was translated by Kiyo Hayasaka.

Hokubu Taiheiyo Purse Seine Regional Project Approved

August 13, 2009

A reform program of Hokubu Taiheiyo (Northern Part of the Pacific) Large-Middle Size Purse Seine Fisheries Regional Project was approved in its original form at the 12th Central Meeting of a project for Fisheries Comprehensive Structural Reinforcement on August 11. An approval of a "mild version" of a reform plan, which does not presuppose replacement vessels, but supported by chartered vessels, was unprecedented. An operator of this regional project is the Hokubu Taiheiyo Purse Seine Fisheries Cooperative Association (Chairman Shoji Kawamoto); the reform project will be executed for the next five years from October 2009.

In order to achieve continual stable management of large-middle size purse seine fisheries, the core fisheries of the Onahama district of Iwaki City, Fukushima Prefecture, the current two-team-eight-vessel system (two purse seiners, two search vessels, and four carrying vessels) will be revised and consolidated to a two-team-seven-vessel system.

Up until now, an 80-ton type in a four-vessel system (one purse seiner, one search vessel, and two carrying vessels) was out in the sea for year-round sardine-mackerel fishing; and a 135-ton type in a four-vessel system operated bonito-tuna fishing during summer and sardine-mackerel fishing during winter.

Sardine-mackerel fishing operations in a two-cargo system were actually excessively equipped when the condition of their resources was taken into consideration. Meanwhile, in bonito-tuna operations, there was a need to keep a carrying ship loaded with catch standing by at a fishing ground, preventing the prompt transportation of fresh catch. Catch that waited around at a fishing ground was sold a day late, leading to a price disparity of about \100.

Average Unit Price of Bonito/Tuna Increases by \20

In the structural reform, the two-team-eight-vessel system was modified to a two-team-seven-vessel system (two purse seiners, two search vessels, and three cargo ships), a reduction of one 80-ton carrying vessel, with a change from 96 to 68 crewmembers on board. In terms of bonito-tuna operations, a one-team-six-vessel system (one purse seiner, two search vessels, and three cargo ships) will be conducted. In sardine-mackerel operations, a one-team-three-vessel system (one purse seiner, one search boat, and one carrying vessel) will be put into practice.

As a result, bonito-tuna operations with an extra carrying ship, a total of three cargo ships, will be able to provide highly fresh catch, leading to a projected annual unit price increase of \20 per kg.

A further cost reduction of roughly \173 million will be possible by fleet rationalization, labor cutback, energy efficiency, and lower maintenance costs.

Attempt for Stable Development of Fishing Industry in Onahama District

The port of Onahama recorded a catch amount of 215,000 tons (180,000 tons from purse seining) in its heyday of 1984. Thanks to purse seine fisheries' continuously favorable catch, sardine in particular, fisheries distributions, sales, and processing in Iwaki City displayed tremendous development.

Nevertheless, after the dawn of the Heisei era, sardine-mackerel resources declined and business worsened owing to increasing fuel expenses and slumping fish prices. Some businesses had to shut their doors and catch amounts shrank. Catch hit the rock bottom in 2005; a total catch amount of the Onahama district for the year of 2007 was 19,000 tons with a total value of \3 billion; out of which, purse seine fisheries brought in 10,000 tons and \1.7 billion in value, accounting for about 60 percent.

Large-mid size purse seine fishermen in the Onahama district currently run two business bodies with two fleets each, a total of four fishing fleets in operation. With the purpose of the solid development of the fishing industry, the restructure reform project to ensure the steady business development of the core fisheries, large-mid size purse seine fisheries, will be executed.

The original article was published on August 13, 2009 and was translated by Kiyo Hayasaka.

Emergency National Meeting to Block "Japan-US FTA"

August 13, 2009

"Protect our fisheries and fishing villages from trade deregulation!" Prior to the World Trade Organization (WTO)'s peak time of agricultural negotiations in September, 3,000 representatives from the agriculture, forestry and fisheries industries congregated for "Emergency National Meeting to Firmly Oppose Japan-US FTA (Free Trade Agreement)" held in Tokyo on August 12. Kuniyuki Miyahara, Executive Managing Director of the JF Federations Of Fisheries Cooperative Associations, read the "Meeting's Declaration," which was unanimously approved.

Under the hot, unrelenting summer sun, representatives from the agricultural, livestock, forestry, and fishing industries showed up on the stage one after another; everyone emphasized that "the realization of the Japan-US FTA means not only it will deprive our lives of domestic products, but also it will lead to the end of the multifaceted functions of the agricultural, forestry, and fishing industries, national conservation in particular." Representing the fisheries industry, Shigeru Sakamoto, Chairman of the JF National Federation of Young Fishermen's Association, stated opinions: "We must express our firm stand against the Japan-US FTA, which will destroy our local economies."

Concerning the Japan-US FTA, prior to a general election scheduled to take place on August 30, each political party voiced its stance in a manifesto. That the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) used a word "concluded" generated a sudden stir. Later on, the DPJ altered it to "proceeding of negotiations" in response to oppositions from the related industries.

The meeting's declaration indicated a sense of crisis by reading: "30 percent of the US exports to Japan is occupied by agricultural and marine products. Once the FTA is concluded, a massive amount of duty-exempted agricultural and marine products will storm into the Japanese market. Not only will it bring enormous damage to our country's agricultural, forestry, and fisheries industries, but also we will end up betraying people in Japan who desire a higher food self-sufficiency rate and food safety and assurance. There will be a spiral effect to Australia, who is in the middle of negotiations, china, and other Asian and Pacific island countries."

At the end of the meeting, Toyoaki Ota, Chairman of the National Chamber of Agriculture and former member of the House of Councilors (the Liberal Democratic Party), took a leadership role in three rousing cheers of "Ganbaro!" (Let's do our best!).

The original article was published on August 13, 2009 and was translated by Kiyo Hayasaka.

Kozo-Sushi's Second Quarter Indicates Shift from Deficit to Profit

August 12, 2009

The Kozo Sushi franchisor announced the second quarter results for the fiscal year ending December 2009; sales of \12.2 billion were recorded, a 4.9 percent drop from the previous year. The success of the profitability improvement plan was a contributing factor of the shift from deficits to profits.

Operating profit marked \72 million, a turnaround from a \161 million operating loss last year. Last year's recorded ordinary deficit of \81 million changed to a \178 million ordinary profit this year. The second quarter net loss, \217 million, in the previous year was shifted to net earnings, totaling \260 million.

The forecast of the entire business year remains the same: sales of \25.3 billion; operating earnings of \178 million; ordinary profit of \320 million; and net income of \136 million.

For this financial year, the company aims for "the prompt transformation to a vital business structure" with quality and productivity improvements made possible by renewing franchise restaurants and adopting the systems of freezing delivery and defrosting at restaurant.

The original article was published on August 12, 2009 and was translated by Kiyo Hayasaka.

Self-Sufficiency Rate of Marine Foods for Human Consumption
Remains Same as Last Year at 62%

August 12, 2009

The Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, and Fishery released the 2008 Food Balance Sheet on August 11. The self-sufficiency ratios of marine products are as follows: marine foods for human consumption 62 percent; the overall seafood, including feed, 53 percent; and seaweed varieties 71 percent, all of which indicated the same numeric values as last year. Domestic production amounts reduced; and also both import and export quantities contracted. Yet, there was no change in the self-sufficiency rate.

The domestic production amount of marine products for human consumption shrank by 66,000 tons year over year. Salmon varieties declined 48,000 tons; Japanese pilchard 41,000 tons; and Japanese flying squid 37,000 tons. Fish species that exhibited yield increases were saury by 58,000 tons, mackerel varieties by 57,000 tons, and atka mackerel by 31,000 tons.

An import quantity decreased 104,000 tons. Alaska pollack (frozen surimi) shrank 32,000 tons and eel (cooked product) 19,000 tons. In contrast, frozen mackerel increased by 24,000 tons.

An export amount also declined 135,000 tons in comparison with the previous year. The following items exhibited significant drops: Alaska pollack (frozen) by 37,000 tons and mackerel (fresh and frozen) by 25,000 tons. Conversely, saury (frozen) and squid (frozen) grew by 24,000 and 16,000 tons respectively.

The amount of domestic consumption destination is figured out by a formula: {(domestic yield amount + total import amount) - total export amount} + inventory amount. The FY 2008 registered a decline of 114,000 tons year over year.

As for seaweed, the domestic yield amount decreased by 12,000 tons. Both an import amount and the amount of domestic consumption destination lessened by 5,000 tons and 17,000 tons respectively. There was a decline of 12,000 tons in domestic laver yield amount. In contrast, kelp species rose by 1,000 tons. In the import amount of seaweed, undaria pinnatifida (so called wakame) declined by 3,000 tons.

Additionally, the overall food self-sufficiency rate stands at 41 percent on a calorie basis with an increase of one percent and 65 percent on a production value basis, a decrease of one point from a year earlier. The domestic yield amounts of sugar cane and soybean rose; and the import quantities of soybean and cheese contracted.

Japan’s Seafood Self-Sufficiency Ratio (%)
Marine Foods504951525353
Marine foods
(human consumption)
Seaweed Species666565677171

The original article was published on August 12, 2009 and was translated by Kiyo Hayasaka.

Red Tide in Kyushu Hits Amberjack Aquaculture

August 12, 2009

The outbreak of red tides covering the extensive areas of the coast on the Southern part of the Ariake Sea, as well as the Yatsushiro Sea off of Okinawa Prefecture, have caused massive cultured fish fatalities. Rainstorms late July created the outflow of water filled with nutrients to the ocean.

Based on the visual examination of fatalities in Kagoshima Prefecture as of August 9, approx. 920,000 of cultured amberjack of the Higashi-machi Fisheries Coop and roughly 11,000 of fish of the Kita Satsuma Fisheries Coop, a total of 931,000 were reported. 150,000 of three-year-olds (5 to 6kg), 720,000 of two-year-olds (2.5 to 3kg), and 50,000 of this year's (250 to 300g) belonging to the Higashi-machi Fisheries Coop were counted.

The Kita Satsuma Fisheries Coop's 8,000 three-year-olds and 3,000 two-year-olds were reported dead. The majority of the damage was two-year-olds, which were awaiting shipment from fall to winter this year, resulting in the largest scale of damage since the beginning of the Heisei era. The damage values are under investigation.

The Higashi-machi Fisheries Coop will decide on the future course of events, such as when to start feeding fish, based on the research results of red tides conducted with the Kagoshima Prefectural Fisheries Technology and Development Center. The Kita Satsuma Fisheries Coop deactivated an emergency order, responding to a drastic decrease in the number of red tide cells.

The Kagoshima Prefecture Fisheries Promotion Division said, "Chattonella antiqua (red tides) is dying down, however at the same time, we are seeing the growth of a different type of red tide," indicating the need to stay alert.

The Northern part of the Yatsushiro Sea in Kumamoto Prefecture witnessed the generation of chattonella antiqua on July 6. Thereafter, the red tides stretched to the offing of Goshoura-machi in Amakusa City and other areas, creating significant damage to amberjack.

According to the aquaculture team of the Kumamoto Prefecture Fisheries Promotion Division, the number of damaged fish as of August 10 amounted to 288,271 and a damage value, estimated based on today's market rate, came to \517 million. The Shimabara Hanto Nanbu Fisheries Coop and the Tachibana-wan Tobu Fisheries Coop in Nagasaki Prefecture also reported damage from red tides. In Saga Prefecture, there is no report of chattonella antiqua damage.

The original article was published on August 12, 2009 and was translated by Kiyo Hayasaka.

Nichimo's First Quarter Indicates Increasing Operating Losses

August 11, 2009

Nichimo announced the first quarter results for the financial year ending March 2010 as follows: sales of \20.9 billion, or a 13.7 percent tumble from the corresponding quarter last year; an operating loss of \378 million (an operating loss of \156 million last year); an ordinary deficit of \364 million (an ordinary deficit of \146 million); and a net loss of \335 million (a net loss of \149 million). For the first quarter, there was a noticeable increase in operating loss.

The company commented, "We lay disproportionate emphasis on sales in the last part of the year; and therefore, the first quarter results in minuses because the burden of expenses to sales becomes great in this particular quarter." The forecasts of the second quarter (sales of \50 billion and operating loss of \50 million) and the entire year (sales of \105 billion and operating profit of \800 million) will remain unchanged.

Food Business' performance for the first quarter suffered a great deal of tumble in surimi sales; furthermore, luxury items, such as crab, slumped as a result of a consumer tendency to prefer lower prices. Food Business reported sales of \13.9 billion, or a drop of 19.5 percentage points; and an operating loss of 67 million.

Though Marine Business experienced increased orders from government offices and purse-seining fisheries, drastic decreases in catch amounts and cheaper fish prices contributed to slumping sales of trawl fishing equipment. This division registered \3.422 billion in sales, an increase of 3.1 percent from the previous year; however, an operating loss of \26 million was reported.

Machinery Business successfully secured businesses carried over from last year. Although there were reported sales of \1.42 billion, a 16.1 percent jump, the division ended in with a \2 million operating loss. Materials Business reported declined sales of \2.11 billion (a 10.1 percent fall); however, the division managed to earn a \10 million operating income. Biotics Business indicated \68 million in sales, or down 19.2 percent; however, improved sales administrative expenses contributed to operating earnings, totaling \10 million. Other miscellaneous business brought in sales of \35 million (an increase of 20 percent) from real estate leasing and insurance agency operation with a total operating profit of \16 million.

The original article was published on August 11, 2009 and was translated by Kiyo Hayasaka.

Daisui's First Quarter Indicates Revenue and Profit Declines with Operating Deficit

August 11, 2009

Daisui announced its financial results for the first quarter of the fiscal year ending March 2010: sales of \33.6 billion with an 18.7 percent drop year over year; an operating deficit of \187 million (an operating profit of \88 million recorded last year); an ordinary loss of \126 million (ordinary earnings of \137 million last year); and the first quarter net loss of \30 million (a net income of \25 million a year ago).

Following the previous year, the sections of frozen prepared foods and dried-salted marine foods experienced sales tumbles. With no changes in selling, general and administrative expenses from a year ago, sales declines gave pressure to operating earnings. As for sales, both seafood wholesale and cold refrigeration operations greatly plunged by 18.7 and 17.1 percent respectively, compared with last year.

The company stocks named as trade control brand (under examination) by the Osaka Securities Exchange were canceled as of June 17; and on the same day, the company was newly appointed as special caution brand. Regarding this matter, the company said, "the impact of lower social trust in the company on business operations is considered minimal; and continuously, the company aims to achieve the cancellation of the special caution brand by strengthening the inner management system."

Based on the results of the first quarter, the company revised the forecasts of the second quarter as well as the full fiscal year. For the second quarter, the original sales estimate of \70 billion remained the same; the original projection of an operating profit of \130 million was altered to an operating loss of \170 million; an ordinary income of \200 million was changed to an ordinary deficit of \100 million; and a net profit of \170 million was revised to a net loss of \20 million. For this financial year, the original sales of \155 billion stayed the same; the original operating earnings were changed from \330 million to \230 million; ordinary profit from \450 million to \340 million; and net income from \400 million to \350 million.

The original article was published on August 11, 2009 and was translated by Kiyo Hayasaka.

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