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 7, 2012

It’s been exactly one year since the T?hoku earthquake and tsunami changed Japan forever. The numbers are staggering: 15,850 deaths, 6,011 injured and 3,287 people still missing, according to the Japanese National Police Agency. The tragedy also took a heavy toll on northeast Japan’s storied fishing and seafood industries. The road to recovery has been long and trying, but the pieces are being put back into place, slowly but

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Published on
March 5, 2012

Fishing co-operatives in Japan are now selling directly to consumers by Internet and deliver by parcel service. Encouraging introduction of such services is Yamato Transport Co. Ltd., which provides refrigerated and frozen parcel delivery nationwide.

Web-based seafood traders advertise that they cut out layers of intermediary dealers and shorten time from landing to delivery. Development of online seafood trading is contributing to a decline in

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Published on
February 24, 2012

A new seafood trading website was introduced to the trade at the 46th annual Supermarket Trade Show in Tokyo in early February and again at the 9th annual Japan International Seafood & Technology Expo in Osaka later in the month.

The site was co-developed by Osaka-based Syunzai Ltd., a seafood dealer that also operates food sales websites, and Tokyo-based Mitsuiwa Corp., an IT development company. Delivery is arranged using the airline ANA

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Published on
February 20, 2012

Editor’s note: SeafoodSource Contributing Editor Chris Loew attended last week’s Japan International Seafood & Technology Expo. This is his first in a series of stories from the ninth annual event. 

The ninth annual Japan International Seafood & Technology Expo was held on 14 to 15 February at ACT Hall in Osaka together with the Agrifood Expo, a showcase for regional specialty foods.

India’s Marine Products Export Development

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Published on
February 10, 2012

Skipjack tuna prices are soaring to record highs. The wholesale price of Thai canned tuna has increased 50 percent from a year ago, surpassing USD 2,000 per metric ton. Japanese companies are finding that the high raw material cost has counteracted the appreciation of the yen.

The usual trend in Thailand is for prices to rise in August and September, as the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission has established regulations to catch

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Published on
December 16, 2011

The Japan Coast Guard last week arrested the captain of a Chinese fishing boat for refusing inspection in Japanese territorial waters.

Tianxiong Zhang, 47, captain of the 135-ton Zhedaiyu 04188, was arrested on 6 November after ignoring an order to stop. He was transferred to Nagasaki port on Monday, and, if convicted, could be imprisoned for six months or fined JPY 300,000 (USD 3,800).

According to the Nagasaki Coast Guard Office, the order to

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Published on
December 4, 2011

Along the Sea of Japan, fishing ports in Tottori, Shimane, Ishikawa, Fukui, Kyoto and Hyogo prefectures have long been famous for snow crab (zuwaigani) and have built a fall and winter tourist industry around it. As the planned spring 2015 opening of the Hokuriku Shinkansen between Tokyo and Kanazawa in Ishikawa Prefecture will speed access to the area from the metropolis, prefectural authorities are stepping up PR efforts to build demand.

Travel

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Published on
October 20, 2011

In Aomori Prefecture, the mackerel catch has been disappointing, and there is less overall supply nationwide. In the city of Hachinohe, the Federation of North Pacific District Purse Seine Co-operative Associations of Japan said mackerel hauls are running about 20 percent striped and 80 percent spotted.

Supermarkets are responding by switching to the cheaper spotted mackerel. Wholesale prices for spotted are JPY 250 to JPY 300 per kilogram, up 20

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Published on
October 7, 2011

Seafood imported to Japan was more expensive in July than in the same month a year ago, according to new customs data.

The yen was valued at 87 to the U.S. dollar in July 2010, but strengthened to 79 this year. This should have given Japan more buying power, but prices rose even in yen terms due to increased demand from Europe, Korea and China and tighter catch limits.

The import price of king crab from the Russian Far East doubled to JPY 2,252

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Published on
September 28, 2011

The Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute (ASMI) has canned its long-serving Japan marketing representative, R&L Associates Co. Ltd., notifying the company in April that its contract would not be renewed beyond July 2011.

Japanese inquiries were temporarily re-routed to Alexa Tonkovich at the Juneau office, who also manned the organization’s booth at the Japan International Seafood & Technology Expo in July.

On 2 May, ASMI issued a

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