Dear International Fugu Association members,
Hello everyone, this is the IFA representative Furukawa.
In Japan, it has been less than 30 days before the Olympic Games.
I hope that it will be performed safely and finish in a good atmosphere.
On the other hand, domestic vaccination is accelerating at a rapid pace of 1 million people/day.
1. I received a love letter from the Singaporean government that I announced two times before.
It is under a bilateral negotiation, and the Japanese government requested not to disclose. So, I'm sorry that I can't introduce it now. Still, it is a positive sign.
The reason is that SFA's lifting of the import ban may create a conflict of interests among the domestic industry and the proposed rules differ from the views of the Japanese government.
In any case, SFA is in the final stages of lifting the ban on Japanese Fugu fins, skins, and milts, and we are pleased to announce that we have entered into details with the Japanese government.
The International Fugu Association believes that once SFA lifts the ban, it shall promptly carry out local promotions and create a Japanese blowfish boom in Singapore.
In addition, with that trend, we will start approaching other countries such as India, Taiwan, Vietnam, Indonesia, and Thailand in neighboring countries.
I'm looking forward to doing so.
We look forward to your support and cooperation.
2. At the annual conference of the Japan Aquatic Products Export Council
I attended the Japan Fisheries Association's Aquatic Products Export Council annual conference, of which the International Fugu Association is a member.
Last year, while we could hardly do any activities, we promoted Japanese Fugu in Singapore and Malaysia, and we explained the background, contents, and results of the events.
We have also submitted a promotion activity plan for this fiscal year and are awaiting good news.
Under the current circumstances, the Japanese government has set an export target of 5 trillion yen by 2030, of which a massive target of 1.2 trillion yen is for the seafood sector.
In the agriculture, forestry, and fisheries products and the food export expansion strategy, the Japanese government selected 27 items as priority export items and set export targets for each country.
Of these, there are four marine products: yellowtail, sea bream, scallops, and pearls.
Unfortunately, Fugu was not selected. (* _ *;
The government plan is to create an organization for each item and will provide export support to them. But it is challenging for stakeholders in production, processing, and distribution to come together.
Since marine products have been exported individually by business entities for a long time, stakeholders will not commit easily to join a proposed organization.
For example, when it comes to yellowtail, fry is almost 100% wild capture, and it is impossible to harvest a sufficient number of fry for a 240,000-ton final production.
Even if such quantity is possible to produce, there is a concern that the domestic market would collapse and farmers go bankrupt unless they find an overseas market. The export council members directed comments on contradictions on the scheme and preparedness to the government officials.
Since Fugu is out of scope, it seemed that I did not belong to the discussion, but I am looking for a room to enter somewhere.
3. Unification of Japanese Fugu license
I contributed an opinion on the unification of Fugu licenses to the "Monthly Fisheries Association" magazine of the Japan Fisheries Association.
It will appear in the August issue.
In the first place, SFA officials pointed out during the Fugu trade negotiations that, strangely, Japan's puffer fish license system is inconsistent. Since the Ministry of Health, Labor, and Welfare revised it in 2019, we have been paying close attention since then.
Starting from May 27th, the Food Safety Council's study group revising the Fugu preparation license started in Tokyo. Other prefectural governments will follow suit in the revisions and establish regulations consistent with the Japanese government's directions.
You can check the details of the study in Tokyo here. (In Japanese only)
1st Food Safety Council Subcommittee Meeting of 2021 | Tokyo Metropolitan Social Welfare and Health Bureau (tokyo.lg.jp)
4. Foreign Fugu dishes
Fugu in Foreign Cuisine
I want to introduce the foreign Fugu dishes that I cooked using Fugu in the newsletter.
I want to post it on the WEB page, so I would appreciate it if you could send your Fugu dishes prepared in non-Japanese style by e-mail.
Thank you very much.
The first is this Korean Fugu dish.
The species is a striped puffer. Bokguk is characterized by cooking with Japanese parsley, which is said to have a detoxifying effect.
Although it has umami, it is a light soup dish, so many people eat it for breakfast, and said to be effective for hangovers.
It's interesting even though it's a neighboring country.
I am looking forward to the day when I can travel.
Let's do our best to overcome the coronavirus!
We look forward to your continued guidance and encouragement.