Chris Loew

Chris Loew

Contributing Editor reporting from Osaka, Japan

Chris Loew reports from Osaka, Japan as a contributing editor for SeafoodSource.com. In addition to writing for SeafoodSource.com, he covers Japan for stock-investing newsletter Global Investing. He co-authored a college language text, “Healthcare English:  Read, Write and Speak It.” When not writing, he proofreads Japanese-to-English translations. Chris is a 1990 graduate of The Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington. After graduation, he worked for two years in the purchasing department of a Japanese meat importer, and for five years as export director for two Seattle food companies, selling to customers in the Far East, and arranging shipping and export documentation for mixed containers of frozen foods.


Author Archive

Published on
February 9, 2024

Restaurants in Japan are working to expand consumption of onigiri, or Japanese rice balls, by making the traditionally simple product a gourmet experience for consumers through careful ingredient selection and the addition of unique flavors.

Those efforts have started to pay off.

Yumiko Ukon, the president and CEO of Bongo, a popular Tokyo rice ball chain, said she was surprised at the long lines of customers her shop has seen over the past

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Published on
January 22, 2024

Two major Japanese supermarket chains – JCCU and Seven & i Group – have expanded the certifications they accept when purchasing seafood products beyond Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) and Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) credentials, with both now welcoming any seafood products bearing a certification recognized by the Global Sustainable Seafood Initiative (GSSI).

One certification trying to take advantage of this less

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Published on
January 19, 2024

Tokyo, Japan-based General Oyster Corporation has developed an innovative purification system that aims to eliminate instances of vibrio and norovirus in its products on a mass scale, as instances of both have resulted in recent recalls and general wariness among consumers.

Consumer anxiety around the safety of oysters is particularly prevalent in Japan, where diners rarely eat oysters raw due to the country’s warm, subtropical waters that

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Published on
January 17, 2024

U.S. sanctions are forcing Russian crab suppliers to find new markets, and Japan has become a new destination for deeply discounted king crab, snow crab, and horsehair crab.

The U.S., which was formerly the biggest purchaser of crab from Russia, introduced an embargo on imports of Russian seafood in March 2022 as part of sanctions related to the Russian invasion of Ukraine. The country recently expanded that ban to include products that stem

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Published on
January 9, 2024

During the first tuna auction of the new year at Tokyo's Toyosu Fish Market, a bluefin weighing 238 kilograms sold for JPY 114.24 million (USD 787,342, EUR 720,740) – the fourth-highest amount on record and a sign of renewed confidence in the economic recovery of Japan’s hospitality industry.

Intermediate wholesaler Yamayuki and the operator of the Sushi Ginza Onodera restaurant – both based in Tokyo – jointly bid on the

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Published on
January 5, 2024

In an attempt to further the discussions held at 2023’s Tokyo Sustainable Seafood Summit (TSSS), an industry workshop took place after the event that aimed to get sweeping opinions on the merit of using electronic monitoring (EM) on vessels operating within the waters overseen by regional fisheries management organizations (RFMOs).

The latest edition of TSSS, which took place in October 2023, included talks on preventing labor abuse in the

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Published on
December 19, 2023

Juvenile Pacific bluefin tuna are plentiful in Japanese coastal waters, but the country’s fishermen aren’t celebrating as a low total allowable catch (TAC) is forcing them to release target fish to avoid catching too many bluefin, losing out on lucrative mackerel and yellowtail in the process.

Juvenile bluefin – defined as bluefin under 30 kilograms – is considered a choke species, or a species with a small quota often

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Published on
December 15, 2023

FRD Japan – one of four companies in the country working on large-scale, land-based recirculating aquaculture system (RAS) salmonid-farming projects in the country – is touting its energy-efficient system as it continues construction of its commercial-scale facility.

FRD, which focuses on rainbow trout production, said its land-based system avoids introducing wasted feed or fish feces into the ocean and does not create a

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Published on
December 13, 2023

China has maintained its ban on Japanese seafood following the controversial release of wastewater from the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant, despite recent promises of a review, but some products that fall under the broad category of “marine products” are still entering the country.

Following the ban, which went into effect in August, Japan’s seafood exports to China plunged 90.8 percent year over year dipping

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Published on
December 8, 2023

Tokyo, Japan-based Kyodo Senpaku is set to replace its aging mothership with a new model, signaling Japan’s continued commitment to whaling.

Kyodo Senpaku the only company in the world still employing the mothership system of whaling. The system uses more agile ships to hunt for whales, which then transfer carcasses onto a mothership for freezing and storage instead of bringing them to land-based storage facilities. Kyodo Senpaku’s

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