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Unswerving cyclist
14 Mar 2002
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Hehe, one unlucky farmer up in Aomori...

Misawa farmers settle with Air Force

"On Nov. 8, a Misawa F-16 experienced an emergency during takeoff; its pilot jettisoned two fuel tanks each capable of holding 370 gallons of JP-8 jet fuel. An inert Maverick training missile also was dropped. No one was injured."

hell. unlucky?

He probably used the fuel in his rice tracker. I bet he got his work done in half time.

missile ... now that probably was scary.
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Sorry, the link above doesn't work at the moment. The problem was that the drop tanks polluted large areas with kerosine. The polluted soil had to be removed etc. etc.
hmmm, now the poor bugger can claim for more funding from the government and not have to bother with planting 1/3 of his fields this year. Not bad actually ...

Japan is on a rotational system leaving open a certain amount of their fields ... in other words the Liberal Democratic Pork Barrel Politics keep the price of rice up and the amount of labor work down in order to buy votes. Although, within the last 5 years of so this has been slooooowly changing.
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Agricultural protectionism... I always wondered why Japanese peaches or nashi could be sold for $2.00 and more a piece. As for rice, don't they have a certain annual quota of rice imports from SE Asia?
Rice imports? lololo ... for Japan? You gotta be kidding!

I was here for the rice shock 10 years ago. Japan kindly imported the worst possible Tai rice that ended up at the bottom of the ships moldy and full of rats. Of course, it tasted horrible. That rice is probably only eaten by the poor in Tailand.

Imports from Australia and China got blended with the Tai stuff. US rice was so under imported that we never saw a pure bag of it in Sapporo.

Remember folks, professional rice buyers did the purchasing and then the blending. I hated the crap that they put on the shelves for regular sales.

So, needless to say Japan new what it was doing and effectively ended any possible complaints about not importing rice since NO Japanese would be caught dead eating crappy rice.

nice ...
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And I always thought that Japanese weren't able to satisfy their domestic demand...

I don't know about Thai rice, but I seriously doubt that Japanese are really really able to differentiate home-grown rice from Californian, Italian or Spanish short grain rice.
Japan can meet most of it's rice needs most of the time. Only at times of horrible weather and what not do they get caught with their pants down.

I'm not sure about the European strains but California grows actual nihon-mai (niponnica) rice from Japan so it's that much more difficult to tell which is which.

The main areas that really effect Japan's rice diet are: senbei, bento, sushi, and sake. With sushi and sake depending the most on the type of rice being used.

I've actually cornered a rice wholesaler before and asked him about the California vs Japan rice in a taste test competition which would win and he like I already knew agreed that most Californian rice is better than what most families eat in Japan.

So, we have Californian rice being on good quality compared with Japanese rice. The remaining question is can Japanese pace the CalRose taste challenge? I could tell the difference so I imagine most Japanese would too. The moistness and stickness of the rice is just different. So, both me an my with like the flavor of Californian rice but the wetness and stickiness just didn't compete fully.

To be honest I didn't have much time to try different water level settings int he rice cooker so ... it might be possible to get the stickyness by ove compensating with water.

Oh well, I still like Californian rice though.
Japan imports most fruit and vegetables because it just isn't viable to grow them. Rice is about the only crop that is grown in significant quantities - partly because traditional terracing allows rice to grow on mountainsides. Basically Japan is 90% mountains, and everyone (including me) lives in the other 10%. This is why land value is so high - there just isn't a lot of space.

So, if land is very very expensive, it just isn't worthwhile growing crops because the profit from growing food isn't high enough. It affects anything that uses a lot of land, not just farming. A good example would be Golf. Playing golf is also very expensive, because you can imagine the massive cost of land needed to create an entire golf course. So we have loads of small driving ranges, but very few good golf courses. I play on a local range, and maybe if I'm lucky can play 2 proper rounds of golf on a real course in a year.
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