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
December 30, 2014

The traditional foods of the New Year in Japan contain much symbolism, thought to bring luck. For example, in toshikoshi soba, a buckwheat noodle soup eaten on New Year’s Eve, the long noodles symbolize a wish for long life. It is usually served topped with prawn tempura or a teriyaki-flavored herring, along with chopped green onion.

On the morning of New Year’s Day, stacked lacquered boxes will be opened. These contain foods that can be

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Published on
December 8, 2014

At the 11th session of the Western & Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC), which concluded in Apia, Samoa on Friday, 5 December, Pacific fishing nations agreed to catch limits for Pacific bluefin tuna. The new quota was set at the baseline 2002-2004 annual average level.

Additionally, in line with a decision at a WCPFC subcommittee meeting on 3 September in Fukuoka, Japan, catches of bluefin weighing less than 30 kilograms (kg) will be

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Published on
November 21, 2014

Prices at Japanese fish markets have remained firm on wild yellowtail despite increasing quantities of the popular winter fish.

Wild yellowtail have been caught since summer in Hokkaido, but landings and prices had both remained low. From November, increasing quantities of yellowtail were caught in trap nets in Toyama and Ishikawa prefectures along the Sea of Japan. Such winter yellowtail are referred to as “kan-buri” (cold-weather

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Published on
November 19, 2014

Japan’s major seafood companies earlier this month released their half-year results, covering the first two quarters of the fiscal year ending 31 March 2015. The yen weakened significantly in the period, raising import costs. While it was mostly in the range of JPY 91-97 per USD in the same period last year, this year it started at 102 and reached 109 in September. Meanwhile, Mexican-raised bluefin selling for JPY 1,700 to 1,800 (USD 14.62 to

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Published on
November 5, 2014

Japan and the United States disagreed on market access in talks on the sidelines of a Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) plenary session in Sydney, Australia. After meeting with U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman on 27 October, Japanese Minister of State for Economic and Fiscal Policy Akira Amari said the finish line for their bilateral talks is not yet in sight. The Obama administration had hoped to conclude the talks by year-end, shortly

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Published on
October 27, 2014

Three-and-a-half years after Japan’s earthquake, tsunami and nuclear disasters, strong oyster harvests on the Sanriku coast and the re-start of test commercial fishing off Fukushima show the gradual progress of recovery, even as leaks of contaminated groundwater at the reactor continue.

The Sanriku Coast includes Iwate Prefecture, northern Miyagi Prefecture and southern Aomori Prefecture, all on northeast Honshu Island. The coastline is

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Published on
October 20, 2014

Wholesale prices for skipjack tuna have doubled at Tokyo’s Tsukiji market to about 1,000 yen (USD 9.36, EUR 7.33) per kilogram, due to a decline in catches in the fourth week of September by 30 percent compared to the same period last year.

Catches by pole and line fishing, accounting for 70 percent of landings and mainly conducted off Kagoshima and Miyagi prefectures, declined by 40 percent. The seawater has been a few degrees warmer than

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Published on
October 6, 2014

Japan's largest retailer, Aeon Co. Ltd., announced on 24 September that it will make Kobe-based supermarket operator Daiei Inc., of which it holds a 44.15 percent share, into a fully owned subsidiary by year’s end.

Aeon, based in Chiba, will obtain Daiei’s remaining stock through a stock swap at a ratio of 0.115 Aeon shares per Daiei share. Daiei will be delisted from the Tokyo Stock Exchange, where it trades under ticker number

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Published on
September 30, 2014

Tokyo officials have changed the rules regarding the use of potentially toxic blowfish in the city’s restaurants, allowing local chefs to cash in on the growing blowfish market in Japan.

Since October  2012, Tokyo has allowed restaurants that do not employ a chef with a blowfish-preparation license, or “fugu chef,” to offer the fish, as long as poisonous parts have already been removed by a licensed professional. The ovaries and

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Published on
September 5, 2014

Among the presenters at the 16th annual Japan International Seafood & Technology Expo held in August were two who spoke about halal foods. Halal foods are foods that are allowed under Islamic dietary rules. Regarding seafood, Sunni Muslims generally consider that all animals coming from the ocean or sea or lake are allowed. Shiites disallow some crustaceans, while allowing shrimp and prawns.

The Tokyo-based Japan Muslim Association

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