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.

Published on
March 15, 2019

China’s booths were the most prominent of the national pavilions at the Foodex trade show held at Makuhari Messe in Chiba Prefecture – near Tokyo, Japan – from 5 to 8 March. The country’s pavilions were the most numerous, taking up about a quarter of one of the two halls, and they boasted “China” signage extending about a meter above regular booth tops.

Foodex is Asia’s largest food-related trade show.

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Published on
March 13, 2019

Brunswick, Maine-based Coastal Enterprises, Inc. (CEI) has made a name for itself offering business advisory services to small businesses as well as financing and project management. The firm has received grants, including USD 300,000 (EUR 266,800) from the Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research (FFAR) – a U.S. nonprofit organization established in the 2014 Farm Bill – for introducing the Japanese “ear-hanging”

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Published on
March 8, 2019

On 13 February, a robot arm successfully picked up pebble-sized pieces of radioactive fuel at Japan's Fukushima nuclear plant. The plant operator, Tokyo Electric Power (TEPCO), sent a remote-controlled probe to the bottom of the plant's Number 2 reactor. It grasped five small pieces of debris from the fuel rods and lifted them a couple of inches. 

The robot did not actually remove the fuel debris. This was just a test to see if it could be

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Published on
March 6, 2019

Without apology or explanation – or even acknowledgement – Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike has reversed her promise to redevelop the city’s famed Tsukiji fish market as a food-related theme park. She now backs a plan to build an international conference and exhibition hall complex at the site, which will include a luxury hotel, waterfront open space, restaurants, and docks.

Critics are demanding Koike explain her reversal to the

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Published on
March 1, 2019

The 16th annual Seafood Show Osaka was held 20 to 21 February and featured new processing methods, new sourcing for cephalopods, and new eco-label support systems. 

Located in the ATC hall, the show had around 500 exhibitors and 20,000 visitors. The show also shared its venue with the Agrifood Show, which had 472 booths featuring agricultural products from Japan’s 47 prefectures. 

Cephalopods were a big feature of this year's

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Published on
February 25, 2019

The Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) is a New York City, New York, U.S.A.-based nonprofit environmental advocacy group. It was started after the founding members researched a link between use of DDT and a decline in local ospreys, following the publication of Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring. They successfully campaigned to end the use of DDT in New York state, and subsequently nationwide. This was followed by work on passage of the Safe

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Published on
February 18, 2019

Two NGOs active in promoting sustainable fisheries in Japan – Ocean Outcomes Japan and Seafood Legacy – have announced they will merge. 

The organizations announced the merger in a joint press release, saying they plan to continue to lead the sustainable seafood movement in Japan, transitioning Japanese seafood producers and suppliers towards global best practices.

Shunji Murakami is the Japan Program Director for Portland,

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Published on
February 13, 2019

The Hometown Tax Donation Program, or furusato nozei in Japanese, is a tax incentive scheme to support smaller, cash-strapped municipalities in Japan. Launched in 2008, the system allows taxpayers to donate money to local governments in areas where they do not live and in turn receive residence tax cuts. Taxpayers can donate to a city or prefecture or to a cause that they want to support, such as social and environmental programs, or disaster

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Published on
January 28, 2019

The blockchain (or distributed ledger) technology – originally created as part of the development of cryptocurrency – is increasingly being used as a tamper-proof record for traceability of seafood. 

Recently, an organization backed by Japan’s government announced it will be developing blockchain projects for food traceability, including a tracking tool and local tourism scrip for sea cucumber.

Japan is ahead of other

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Published on
January 7, 2019

Kiyoshi Kimura, president of restaurant chain Sushi Zanmai, has shelled out big bucks again to get his company’s name in the news worldwide. 

Kimura made the winning bid for the highest-priced Pacific bluefin tuna at the first tuna auction of the year at Tokyo’s new Toyosu Market on 5 January.

The chain is overshadowed in size by rival conveyor-belt sushi chains Hamazushi (more than 400 outlets), Akindo Sushiro (more than 500

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