Awamori is an alcoholic beverage indigenous and unique to Okinawa, Japan. It is made from long grain indica rice, is not a direct product of brewing but of distillation. All awamori made today is from indica rice imported from Thailand, the local production not being sufficient to meet domestic demand. Awamori is 60–86 proof, although "export" brands are 50 proof; some brands are flammable. Awamori is aged in traditional clay pots to improve its flavor and mellowness; the most popular way to drink awamori is with ice. When served in a restaurant in Okinawa, it will nearly always be accompanied by a container of ice and carafe of water. Awamori can be drunk straight, on the rocks, in cocktails. Traditionally, awamori was served in a kara-kara, a small earthen vessel with a small clay marble inside; the marble would make a distinctive "kara-kara" sound to let. These vessels are still found in Okinawa, but the clay marbles are absent. Another name for awamori used in Okinawa is shima for short. In general the price of awamori increases with the beverage's age.
Kōrēgusu is a type of hot sauce made of chillis infused in awamori and is a popular condiment to Okinawan dishes such as Okinawa soba. Awamori owes its existence to Okinawa's trading history, it originates from the Thai drink Lao Khao. The technique of distilling reached Okinawa from Thailand in the 15th century. All awamori is made from Thai rice; the Okinawans refined the distillation process, incorporating techniques from nearby countries, making it more suitable for the subtropical climate and incorporating the unique local black koji mold. From the 15th to 19th century, awamori was sent as a tribute to Okinawa's powerful neighbors and Japan. Before April 1983, awamori was labelled as a second class shochu. Although awamori is a distilled rice liquor, it differs from Japanese shochu in several ways. Awamori is made in a single fermentation while shochu uses two fermentations. Furthermore, awamori uses Thai-style, long-grained Indica crushed rice rather than the short-grained Japonica used in shochu production.
Awamori uses black koji mold indigenous to Okinawa, while Japanese shochu uses white and yellow koji molds. When awamori is aged for three years or more, it is called kusu; this pronunciation is unique to Okinawa. In order to earn the designation "kusu", over 50%, the awamori must be aged for three years. In practice however, the remainder is six months old. If a specific age is noted all of the contents must be of at least that age. Awamori is aged underground in constant cool temperatures in clay vases. Containers of awamori can be found in the caves of Okinawa. Before the Battle of Okinawa during World War II, 200- and 300-year-old kusu existed, but all were lost in the battle. Several attempts are being made to produce these kusu again. On Yonaguni, Japan's westernmost island, the three distilleries of Donan and Maifuna produce a variant of awamori called hanazake, lit. "flower liquor", which has an alcohol content of 60%. Intended for religious ceremonies, hanazake is traditionally consumed straight.
Awamori is thought to get its name from the bubbles awa that rise and swell mori during its distillation. The more bubbles, the higher the alcohol concentration in the final product. Despite being written with the kanji character 泡, there are other theories on the origin of the name. One of these is that the name derives from 粟, meaning millet, a raw material used to make awamori centuries ago, now replaced with rice. Habushu List of rice beverages Okinawa Prefectural Government, "Awamori", Okinawa: Cultural Promotion Division, Okinawa Tourism and Cultural Affairs Bureau, 1996. What is Awamori
Agriculture is the science and art of cultivating plants and livestock. Agriculture was the key development in the rise of sedentary human civilization, whereby farming of domesticated species created food surpluses that enabled people to live in cities; the history of agriculture began thousands of years ago. After gathering wild grains beginning at least 105,000 years ago, nascent farmers began to plant them around 11,500 years ago. Pigs and cattle were domesticated over 10,000 years ago. Plants were independently cultivated in at least 11 regions of the world. Industrial agriculture based on large-scale monoculture in the twentieth century came to dominate agricultural output, though about 2 billion people still depended on subsistence agriculture into the twenty-first. Modern agronomy, plant breeding, agrochemicals such as pesticides and fertilizers, technological developments have increased yields, while causing widespread ecological and environmental damage. Selective breeding and modern practices in animal husbandry have increased the output of meat, but have raised concerns about animal welfare and environmental damage.
Environmental issues include contributions to global warming, depletion of aquifers, antibiotic resistance, growth hormones in industrial meat production. Genetically modified organisms are used, although some are banned in certain countries; the major agricultural products can be broadly grouped into foods, fibers and raw materials. Food classes include cereals, fruits, meat, milk and eggs. Over one-third of the world's workers are employed in agriculture, second only to the service sector, although the number of agricultural workers in developed countries has decreased over the centuries; the word agriculture is a late Middle English adaptation of Latin agricultūra, from ager, "field", which in its turn came from Greek αγρός, cultūra, "cultivation" or "growing". While agriculture refers to human activities, certain species of ant and ambrosia beetle cultivate crops. Agriculture is defined with varying scopes, in its broadest sense using natural resources to "produce commodities which maintain life, including food, forest products, horticultural crops, their related services".
Thus defined, it includes arable farming, animal husbandry and forestry, but horticulture and forestry are in practice excluded. The development of agriculture enabled the human population to grow many times larger than could be sustained by hunting and gathering. Agriculture began independently in different parts of the globe, included a diverse range of taxa, in at least 11 separate centres of origin. Wild grains were eaten from at least 105,000 years ago. From around 11,500 years ago, the eight Neolithic founder crops and einkorn wheat, hulled barley, lentils, bitter vetch, chick peas and flax were cultivated in the Levant. Rice was domesticated in China between 11,500 and 6,200 BC with the earliest known cultivation from 5,700 BC, followed by mung and azuki beans. Sheep were domesticated in Mesopotamia between 11,000 years ago. Cattle were domesticated from the wild aurochs in the areas of modern Turkey and Pakistan some 10,500 years ago. Pig production emerged in Eurasia, including Europe, East Asia and Southwest Asia, where wild boar were first domesticated about 10,500 years ago.
In the Andes of South America, the potato was domesticated between 10,000 and 7,000 years ago, along with beans, llamas and guinea pigs. Sugarcane and some root vegetables were domesticated in New Guinea around 9,000 years ago. Sorghum was domesticated in the Sahel region of Africa by 7,000 years ago. Cotton was domesticated in Peru by 5,600 years ago, was independently domesticated in Eurasia. In Mesoamerica, wild teosinte was bred into maize by 6,000 years ago. Scholars have offered multiple hypotheses to explain the historical origins of agriculture. Studies of the transition from hunter-gatherer to agricultural societies indicate an initial period of intensification and increasing sedentism. Wild stands, harvested started to be planted, came to be domesticated. In Eurasia, the Sumerians started to live in villages from about 8,000 BC, relying on the Tigris and Euphrates rivers and a canal system for irrigation. Ploughs appear in pictographs around 3,000 BC. Farmers grew wheat, vegetables such as lentils and onions, fruits including dates and figs.
Ancient Egyptian agriculture relied on its seasonal flooding. Farming started in the predynastic period at the end of the Paleolithic, after 10,000 BC. Staple food crops were grains such as wheat and barley, alongside industrial crops such as flax and papyrus. In India, wheat and jujube were domesticated by 9,000 BC, soon followed by sheep and goats. Cattle and goats were domesticated in Mehrgarh culture by 8,000–6,000 BC. Cotton was cultivated by the 5th-4th millennium BC. Archeological evidence indicates an animal-drawn plough from 2,500 BC in the Indus Valley Civilisation. In China, from the 5th century BC there was a nationwide granary system and widespread silk farming. Water-powered grain mills were in use followed by irrigation. By the late 2nd century, heavy ploughs had been developed with iron mouldboards; these spread westwards across Eurasia. Asian rice was domesticated 8,200–13,500 years ago – depending on the molecular clock estimate, used – on the Pearl River in southern China with a single genetic origin from the wild rice Oryza rufipogon
International Co-operative Alliance
The International Co-operative Alliance is a non-governmental co-operative federation or, more a co-operative union representing co-operatives and the co-operative movement worldwide. It was founded in 1895 to unite and serve co-operatives worldwide; the Alliance maintains the internationally recognised definition of a co-operative in the Statement on the Co-operative Identity. The ICA represents 313 co-operative organisations in 109 countries; the Alliance provides a global voice and forum for knowledge, expertise and co-ordinated action for and about co-operatives. The members of the Alliance are international and national co-operative organisations from all sectors of the economy, including agriculture, consumer, health, housing and workers; the Alliance has members from 100 countries, representing close to one billion individuals worldwide. Around one hundred million people work for co-operatives globally. Co-operatives are values based businesses owned by their members. Whether they are customers, employees or residents, the members get an equal say in the business and a share of the profits.
In 2006 the ICA published the first major index of the world's largest co-operative and mutual enterprises, the ICA Global 300, which demonstrated the scale of the co-operative movement globally. On the first Saturday of July each year, the ICA coordinates celebrations of International Co-operative Day. In December 2009, the United Nations declared 2012 as the International Year of Cooperatives. In 2013 the headquarters was shifted to Brussels in Belgium The ICA consists of a 20-member governing board, a General Assembly, four regions, sectoral organisations and thematic committees. ICA Asia - Pacific ICA Africa Cooperatives Europe ICA America International Co-operative Agricultural Organisation Consumer Co-operatives Worldwide International Co-operative Fisheries Organisation International Health Co-operative Organisation International Co-operative Housing Organisation International Co-operative and Mutual Insurance Federation International Organisation of Industrial and Service Producers' Co-operatives Committee on Co-operative Research Communications Committee Human Resource Development Committee Gender Equality Committee ICA adopted its original rainbow flag in 1925, with the seven colors symbolizing unity in diversity and the power of light and progress.
In 2001 a new flag was adopted at the ICA General Assembly in Seoul, Korea, to avoid confusion with other rainbow flags, several of which had become well known in the 20th century. The present flag shows the ICA seven-color logo on a white background; the logo depicts a quarter rainbow with a flock of stylized doves of peace scattering from the top and the letters ICA underneath. The rainbow has only six stripes and the seventh color appears in the lettering under the rainbow; the flag exists in four different versions showing the ICA acronym in different languages. 1895: Earl Grey and Henry W. Wolff 1907: Earl Grey and William Maxwell 1917: William Maxwell 1921: G. J. D. C. Goedhart 1927: Väinö Tanner 1945: Robert Palmer 1948: Harry Gill 1955: Marcel Brot 1960: Mauritz Bonow 1975: Roger Kerinec 1984: Lars Marcus 1995: Graham Melmoth 1997: Roberto Rodrigues 2001: Ivano Barberini 2009: Pauline Green 2015: Monique Leroux 2017: Ariel Guarco 1895: Edward Owen Greening 1902: Jesse Clement Gray 1908: Hans Müller 1913: Henry John May 1939: Gertrude Polley 1963: Position abolished List of Co-operative Federations The International Co-operative Alliance The story of the ICA flag
Liberal Democratic Party (Japan)
The Liberal Democratic Party of Japan abbreviated to LDP or Jimintō, is a conservative political party in Japan. The LDP has near continuously been in power since its foundation in 1955—a period called the 1955 System—with the exception of a period between 1993 and 1994, again from 2009 to 2012. In the 2012 election it regained control of government, it holds 291 seats in the lower house and 121 seats in the upper house, with the Komeito the governing coalition has the supermajority in both houses. Prime Minister Shinzō Abe and many present and former LDP ministers are known members of Nippon Kaigi, a monarchist and negationist organization; the LDP is not to be confused with the now-defunct Liberal Party, which merged with the Democratic Party of Japan to become the Democratic Party, the main opposition party until 2017. The LDP is not to be confused with the Liberal Party, a minor social liberal party founded in 2016 and sitting in opposition; the LDP was formed in 1955 as a merger between two of Japan's political parties, the Liberal Party and the Japan Democratic Party, both right-wing conservative parties, as a united front against the popular Japan Socialist Party, now Social Democratic Party.
The party won the following elections, Japan's first conservative government with a majority was formed by 1955. It would hold majority government until 1993; the LDP began with reforming Japan's international relations, ranging from entry into the United Nations, to establishing diplomatic ties with the Soviet Union. Its leaders in the 1950s made the LDP the main government party, in all the elections of the 1950s, the LDP won the majority vote, with the only other opposition coming from the left-wing politics, made up of the Japan Socialist Party and the Japanese Communist Party. From the 1950s through the 1970s, the United States Central Intelligence Agency spent millions of dollars attempting to influence elections in Japan to favor the LDP against more leftist parties such as the Socialists and the Communists, although this was not revealed until the mid-1990s when it was exposed by The New York Times. For the majority of the 1960s, the LDP were led by Eisaku Satō, beginning with the hosting of the 1964 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, ending in 1972 with Japanese neutrality in the Vietnam War and with the beginning of the Japanese asset price bubble.
By the end of the 1970s, the LDP went into its decline, where though it held the reins of government many scandals plagued the party, while the opposition gained momentum. In 1976, in the wake of the Lockheed bribery scandals, a handful of younger LDP Diet members broke away and established their own party, the New Liberal Club. A decade however, it was reabsorbed by the LDP. By the late 1970s, the Japan Socialist Party, the Japanese Communist Party, the Komeito along with the international community used major pressure to have Japan switch diplomatic ties from the Republic of China to the People's Republic of China. During the 1980s, the LDP was responsible for Japan's unprecedented economic growth, the successful economy. By the early 1990s, the LDP's nearly four decades in power allowed it to establish a stable process of policy formation; this process would not have been possible if other parties had secured parliamentary majorities. LDP strength was based on an enduring, although not unchallenged, coalition of big business, small business, professional groups, other interests.
Elite bureaucrats collaborated with the party and interest groups in drafting and implementing policy. In a sense, the party's success was a result not of its internal strength but of its weakness, it lacked a strong, nationwide organization or consistent ideology with which to attract voters. Its leaders were decisive, charismatic, or popular, but it functioned efficiently as a locus for matching interest group money and votes with bureaucratic power and expertise. This arrangement resulted in corruption, but the party could claim credit for helping to create economic growth and a stable, middle-class Japan, but by 1993, the end of the miracle economy and other reasons led to the LDP losing its majority in that year's general election. Seven opposition parties—including several formed by LDP dissidents—formed a government headed by LDP dissident Morihiro Hosokawa of the Japan New Party. However, the LDP was still far and away the largest party in the House of Representatives, with well over 200 seats.
In 1994, the Socialist Party and New Party Sakigake left the ruling coalition, joining the LDP in the opposition. The remaining members of the coalition tried to stay in power as a makeshift minority government, but this failed when the LDP and the Socialists, bitter rivals for 40 years, formed a majority coalition; the new government was dominated by the LDP, but it allowed a Socialist to occupy the Prime Minister's chair until 1996, when the LDP's Ryutaro Hashimoto took over. In the 1996 election, the LDP made some gains, but was still 12 seats short of a majority. However, no other party could form a government, Hashimoto formed a solidly LDP minority government. Through a series of floor-crossings, the LDP regained its majority within a year; the party was unopposed until 1998, when the opposition Democratic Party of Japan was formed. This marked the beginning of the opposing parties' gains in momentum in the 2003 and 2004 Parliamentary Elec
Agriculture in the Empire of Japan
Agriculture in the Empire of Japan was an important component of the pre-war Japanese economy. Although Japan had only 16% of its land area under cultivation before the Pacific War, over 45% of households made a living from farming. Japanese cultivated land was dedicated to rice, which accounted for 15% of world rice production in 1937. After the end of the Tokugawa shogunate with the Meiji Restoration of 1868, Japanese agriculture was dominated by a tenant farming system; the Meiji government based its industrialization program on tax revenues from private land ownership, the Land Tax Reform of 1873 increased the process of landlordism, with many farmers having their land confiscated due to inability to pay the new taxes. This situation was worsened by the deflationary Matsukata Fiscal Policy of 1881-1885, which depressed rice prices, leading to further bankruptcies, to large scale rural uprisings against the government. By the end of the Meiji period, over 67% of all peasant families were driven into tenancy, farm productivity stagnated.
As tenants were forced to pay over half their crop as rent, they were forced to send wives and daughters to textile mills or to sell daughters into prostitution to pay for taxes. In the early Meiji period, landowners collected a high rate of rent in kind, rather than cash and played a major role in the development of agriculture, since the tenant farmers found it difficult to obtain capital. With the development of cash crops to supplement the mainstay of rice, the growth of capitalism in general from the turn of the twentieth century onwards, agricultural cooperatives and the government took over the role by providing farm subsidies and education in new agricultural techniques; the first agricultural cooperatives were established in 1900, after their creation was debated in the Diet of Japan by Shinagawa Yajirō and Hirata Tosuke as a means of modernizing Japanese agriculture and adapting it to a cash economy. These cooperatives served in rural areas as credit unions, purchasing cooperatives and assisted in the marketing and sales of farm products.
The Imperial Agricultural Association was a central organization for agricultural cooperatives in the Empire of Japan. It was established in 1910, provided assistance to individual cooperatives through transmission of agricultural research and facilitating the sales of farm products; the Imperial Agricultural Association was at the peak of a three tier structure of national-prefectural-local system of agricultural cooperatives. This organization was of vital importance after nationwide markets were consolidated under government control in the aftermath of the Rice Riots of 1918 and increasing economic crisis from the late 1920s. Increasing tenant farmer disputes and issues with landlordism led to increasing government regulation. After the Rice Riots of 1918, many peasants came under the influence of the urban labor movement with socialist, communist and/or agrarian ideas, which created a serious political issues. Not only were the Imperial Family of Japan and the zaibatsu major landowners, but until 1928, an income tax requirement limited the right to vote, limiting seats in the Diet of Japan only to people of wealth.
In 1922, the Nihon Nomin Kumiai was formed for collective bargaining for cultivator rights and reduced rents. By the 1930s, the growth of the urban economy and flight of farmers to the cities weakened the hold of the landlords; the interwar years saw the rapid introduction of mechanized agriculture, the supplementation of natural animal fertilizers with chemical fertilizers and imported phosphates. With the growth of the wartime economy, the government recognized that landlordism was an impediment to increased agricultural productivity, took steps to increase control over the rural sector through the formation of the Central Agricultural Association in 1943, a compulsory organization under the wartime command economy to force the implementation of government farming policies. Another duty of the organization was to secure food supply to the military, it was dissolved after World War II. Farmed land in 1937 was 14,940,000 acres, which represented 15.8% of the total Japanese surface area, compared with 10,615,000 acres or 40% in Ohio, or 12,881,000 acres or 21% in England.
The proportion of farmed land rose from 11.8% in 1887 to 13.7% in 1902, 14.4% in 1912 to 15.7% in 1919. This fell to 15.4% in 1929. There were 5,374,897 farmers at an average 2.67 acres per family, in comparison with any American farmer family with 155 acres. These were larger in Karafuto and reduced by 2 acres in southwest area; the intense culture and scientific development, raised the yield to 43 bushels per acre in 1936. In some parts of southern Japan, the subtropical climate favored a double harvest. Other important cereals were wheat, rye, millet barley; the sparsely populated Chishima Islands had an inclement climate for anything other than small-scale agriculture. Karafuto had a severe climate made cultivation difficult, along with unsuitable podzolic soils. Small scale farming was developed in the south, were land was suitable for potatoes, rye and vegetables. Only 7% of Karafuto was arable; the livestock raising was quite important. Farming experiments with rice were successful. Through government policies, capable farmers from Hokkaidō and northern Honshū received 12.5 acres to 25 acres of land and
Protectionism is the economic policy of restricting imports from other countries through methods such as tariffs on imported goods, import quotas, a variety of other government regulations. Proponents claim that protectionist policies shield the producers and workers of the import-competing sector in the country from foreign competitors. However, they reduce trade and adversely affect consumers in general, harm the producers and workers in export sectors, both in the country implementing protectionist policies, in the countries protected against. There is a consensus among economists that protectionism has a negative effect on economic growth and economic welfare, while free trade and the reduction of trade barriers has a positive effect on economic growth; some scholars have implicated protectionism as the cause of some economic crises, most notably the Great Depression. However, trade liberalization can sometimes result in large and unequally distributed losses and gains, can, in the short run, cause significant economic dislocation of workers in import-competing sectors.
A variety of policies have been used to achieve protectionist goals. These include: Tariffs and import quotas are the most common types of protectionist policies. A tariff is an excise tax. Imposed to raise government revenue, modern tariffs are now more designed to protect domestic producers that compete with foreign importers. An import quota is a limit on the volume of a good that may be imported established through an import licensing regime. Protection of technologies, patents and scientific knowledge Restrictions on foreign direct investment, such as restrictions on the acquisition of domestic firms by foreign investors. Administrative barriers: Countries are sometimes accused of using their various administrative rules as a way to introduce barriers to imports. Anti-dumping legislation: "Dumping" is the practice of firms selling to export markets at lower prices than are charged in domestic markets. Supporters of anti-dumping laws argue that they prevent import of cheaper foreign goods that would cause local firms to close down.
However, in practice, anti-dumping laws are used to impose trade tariffs on foreign exporters. Direct subsidies: Government subsidies are sometimes given to local firms that cannot compete well against imports; these subsidies are purported to "protect" local jobs, to help local firms adjust to the world markets. Export subsidies: Export subsidies are used by governments to increase exports. Export subsidies have the opposite effect of export tariffs because exporters get payment, a percentage or proportion of the value of exported. Export subsidies increase the amount of trade, in a country with floating exchange rates, have effects similar to import subsidies. Exchange rate control: A government may intervene in the foreign exchange market to lower the value of its currency by selling its currency in the foreign exchange market. Doing so will raise the cost of imports and lower the cost of exports, leading to an improvement in its trade balance. However, such a policy is only effective in the short run, as it will lead to higher inflation in the country in the long run, which will in turn raise the real cost of exports, reduce the relative price of imports.
International patent systems: There is an argument for viewing national patent systems as a cloak for protectionist trade policies at a national level. Two strands of this argument exist: one when patents held by one country form part of a system of exploitable relative advantage in trade negotiations against another, a second where adhering to a worldwide system of patents confers "good citizenship" status despite'de facto protectionism'. Peter Drahos explains that "States realized that patent systems could be used to cloak protectionist strategies. There were reputational advantages for states to be seen to be sticking to intellectual property systems. One could attend the various revisions of the Paris and Berne conventions, participate in the cosmopolitan moral dialogue about the need to protect the fruits of authorial labor and inventive genius...knowing all the while that one's domestic intellectual property system was a handy protectionist weapon." Political campaigns advocating domestic consumption Preferential governmental spending, such as the Buy American Act, federal legislation which called upon the United States government to prefer US-made products in its purchases.
In the modern trade arena many other initiatives besides tariffs have been called protectionist. For example, some commentators, such as Jagdish Bhagwati, see developed countries efforts in imposing their own labor or environmental standards as protectionism; the imposition of restrictive certification procedures on imports are seen in this light. Further, others point out that free trade agreements have protectionist provisions such as intellectual property and patent restrictions that benefit large corporations; these provisions restrict trade in music, pharmaceuticals and other manufactured items to high cost producers with quotas from low cost producers set to zero. Protectionism was associated with economic theories such as mercantilism, import substitution. In the 18th century, Adam Smith famously warned against the "interested sophistry" of industry
Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (Japan)
The Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries a cabinet level ministry in the government of Japan responsible for oversight of the agriculture and fishing industries. Its acronym is MAFF; the current Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries is Takamori Yoshikawa. The Constitution of the Empire of Japan provided for the creation of a Ministry of Agriculture and Commerce, established in 1881, with Tani Tateki as its first minister. In 1925, the commerce functions were separated out into a separate Ministry of Commerce, the ministry was renamed the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry; the ministry was given responsibility for oversight of the Factory Act of 1903, which provided regulations for work hours and worker safety in both industrial and agricultural industries. From 1943 to 1945, when the Ministry of Commerce was abolished due to the nationalization of Japanese industry for the war effort, parts of that ministry reverted to the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, again named Ministry of Agriculture and Commerce.
In 1978, the name of Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry was expanded to the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries to better reflect the ministry's role in guaranteeing the Japanese public a safe food supply, to protect producers and workers in the food production industries. The primary function of the ministry is to set quality standards for food products, supervise commodity markets and food sales, to undertake land reclamation and land improvement projects. Agriculture and fishing in Japan Shokuiku Official website