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 3, 2023

Maruha Nichiro, the world's largest seafood company, reported its highest-ever sales and operating profit for the nine month period from April through December.

In its 6 February filing, the Tokyo-based company said that it grew net sales by 18 percent, from JPY 661.2 billion (USD 4.8 billion, EUR 4.5 billion) in the same period of 2021 to JPY 781 billion (USD 5.7 billion, EUR 5.4 billion) in 2022, while operating income rose by 20.4 percent,

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Published on
February 15, 2023

Norwegian Seafood Council (NSC) Director for Japan and South Korea Johan Kvalheim talked to SeafoodSource about two campaigns for airflown fish he has been involved in since he took up the post in December of 2020. For airflown mackerel, the NSC worked with the Tokyo-based importer, JALUX, in a campaign called “Mackerel Nouveau,” a play on the fresh Beaujolais Nouveau wine so popular in Japan. Additionally, the Aeon supermarket chain

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Published on
February 14, 2023

At a contentious special session of the Indian Ocean Tuna Commission (IOTC), developing nations bucked pressure from the European Union and approved an annual closure period for drifting fish-aggregating devices (dFADs).

The IOTC is the regional fishery management organization (RFMO) that manages tuna fishing in the Indian Ocean. The three-day special session that ended on 5 February was held to consider a conservation and management measure on

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Published on
February 13, 2023

After placing new sanctions on Russia, Japan now has to deal with its northern neighbor refusing to schedule annual negotiations for fishing access in territorial waters around the southern Kuril Islands.

Though the two countries recently completed a deal for fishing access for parts of each other’s exclusive economic zones (EEZs), Russia has ruled out any talks on access to waters around the disputed islands so long as Japan continues to

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Published on
February 10, 2023

Japan, the world’s largest producer of farmed yellowtail, is lagging behind competing countries in the proportion of its yellowtail seedlings that come from hatchery production. 

The result is that the country's yellowtail producers are reliant on wild-caught fish to populate their farms, and face bigger challenges in producing a steady supply of high-quality fresh product year-round.

In 2012, the Japanese government put a cap on the

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Published on
February 9, 2023

For the first time in its history, Food and Life Companies – which operates Sushiro, the top conveyor-belt sushi chain in Japan – is planning to open more restaurants overseas than in its home country.

Food and Life Companies plans to open 50 to 60 Sushiro shops overseas during the fiscal year ending in September 2023, while opening 18 to 22 in Japan over the same period. Sushiro’s overseas expansion has seen steady progress,

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Published on
February 3, 2023

Thousands of Japanese food processors, including Shizuoka-based tuna canner Hagoromo Foods Co., plan to raise prices in 2023.  

In response to soaring prices of bonito and tuna, Hagoromo Foods already raised the prices of its products containing bonito as a main ingredient in July 2022, and its  products with tuna as a main ingredient in September 2022. 

Since then, however, the yen has depreciated significantly, and prices

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Published on
February 3, 2023

The Tokyo-based National Pacific Saury Stick Net Fishery Cooperative announced on 10 January that only 17,910 metric tons (MT) of saury were landed by Japanese vessels in 2022, marking the fourth consecutive year of record lows since statistics started being kept in 1961.

The amount is a two-percent decline from the 18,291 MT caught in 2021, which was down 38 percent from the 29,566 MT caught in 2020, which in turn was down 27 percent from the

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Published on
January 25, 2023

Japanese spicy cod roe maker Yamaya Communications recently announced that it will be onshoring some cod-roe processing work previously done in Vietnam. 

In an interview with the Japanese public television channel NHK, the Fukuoka-based company’s president, Masahide Yamamoto, said that a major reason for returning the work to Japan was costs, as wages have risen in Vietnam, with the weaker Japanese yen compounding the company's

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Published on
January 17, 2023

Japan, a major producer and exporter of mackerel, is also a major importer and it represents Norway’s most important international market for the species.

Despite catching hundreds of thousands of tons of mackerel, demand from Japanese consumers results in a high volume of imports of the species – with the vast majority of imports coming from Norway. This is because the Atlantic mackerel (Scomber scombrus) imported from Norway is

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