International Fugu Association Newsletter Vol. 38
Dear International Fugu Association members,
Hello everyone. This is the IFA representative Furukawa.
Happy to bring you the 38th bulletin of the International Fugu Association.
This is the last newsletter for 2019.
Thank you very much for your support this year.
Looking back on this year,
Hosted Sixth International Fugu Association Seminar at International Seafood Show Osaka
Professor Yuji Nagashima, Niigata University of Food and Agriculture presented “The secret of the detoxification system of pickled fugu ovary, the specialty of Hokuriku!?”
Mr. Masayuki Ikeda, Director of Business Planning Department, Soukoku Genpin Fugu Co., Ltd. “Eating spree!? Inbound travelers to the evolving Kansai Fugu Restaurant”
Yukihiro Furukawa, President, International Fugu Association, "Possibility and challenges of fugu export to overseas"
Participated in the 3rd China International Contemporary Fisheries and Fisheries Science and Technology Expo in Hefei, Anhui Province, China.
The International Fugu Association has joined as a member organization of the Japan Fisheries Association and the Aquatic Products Export Council.
Organized The 7th International Fugu Association Seminar at the International Fisheries and Technology Expo.
Professor Yasuyuki Miyazaki, National Fisheries University “What makes the good taste of Fugu?”
New Zealand Agri Marketing Co., Representative Director Takehiko Yamamoto “New Zealand Fugu”
Yukihiro Furukawa, President, International Fugu Association “Buyers mission and Singapore In-country Fugu Promotion”
We invited restaurant owners and buyers from Singapore to Japan and had them experience Fugu farms, markets, processing plants, fugu restaurants and business meetings.
This event was uploaded to the business report page of the Japan Aquatic Produces Export Council, which supports our activity.
A Japanese Fugu business meeting was held at a high-end Chinese restaurant in Singapore.
The next day, we hosted a Japanese Fugu study session with the Singapore Food Agency (SFA).
Lectured on “Safety and attractiveness of Torafugu that has been eaten in Japan since ancient times” at the inbound traveler promotion event hosted by Japan Mariculture Organization.
The homepage of the International Fugu Association has also been renewed. Please see below for details.
This year, we have been actively working to expand the export market of Japanese Fugu.
There were many things that were short of our expectations, but we are making steady progress little by little.
2020 is the long-awaited Tokyo Olympic year.
There will be many visitors from overseas, so it's a great chance to have them try Fugu.
We will do our best in 2020 to open a bright future for the Fugu industry.
We look forward to your continued guidance and support.
Thanks & regards
International Fugu Association Newsletter Vol. 37
Dear International Fugu Association members,
I am happy to deliver the 37th issue of the International Fugu Association (IFA) newsletter.
It's almost December, so it's finally winter
However, tora-fugu are caught off the coast of Chiba because of global warming!?.
Now, as recent activity,
1.Each paper featured the puffer promotion to Singapore!
2.Unified rules for Japanese Fugu processing certification standards
On October 31, the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare (MHLW) notified each local government to unify the rules for obtaining the Fugu license.
As a result, all local governments will offer the puffer examination!?
The Japanese government informed Singapore Food Agency SFA of its English version.
Still, SFA seems to be considering lifting the ban on milt, skins, and fins only of the farmed Torafugu.
I think they are worried about the emerging hybrid Fugu.
The Japanese government makes no distinction between the safety of farmed and wild Fugu. I am concerned with it that it might influence the negotiations with SFA in the future.
So with assistance from the Shimonoseki market, I identified the major handling companies and organizations of wild Fugu and reported to the Japanese government as requested.
Depending on the situation, the government may issue a press release to collect opinions on wild Fugu fishers.
Since it is a project that has taken more than five years, I will continue to pay my efforts diligently, without overreaction, to the liberalization of Fugu imports by Singapore.
3. The International Fugu Association was featured in the November issue of Midori Shobo's aquaculture business journal.
I contributed a writing about the current situation of Singapore's Fugu imports and promotion activities of the International Fugu Association.
4.I participated in a seminar held at a PR event of the All Japan Fishery Products Processing
Cooperative Association. In this promotional event for travel agencies and hotels,
I did a presentation entitled "Safety and charm of Torafugu that has been eaten in Japan since ancient times" and talked about the market created by the inbound visitors.
The flagship restaurant of Uoza in Nanba, Osaka, hosted the seminar, whose interior holds a big live tank decorated as a Japanese fishing boat.
I had a valuable experience in the restaurant, which was very busy with many overseas visitors.
International Fugu Association Newsletter Vol. 36
Dear International Fugu Association members,
I am happy to deliver the 36th issue of the International Fugu Association (IFA) newsletter.
Japan is a country with many disasters, but this year, there have been many floods.
If you are in Chiba, please be careful.
Fortunately, the number of overseas members of the IFA has increased, so I decided to send an English newsletter.
1. About promotions for Singapore
An article about pufferfish arrived from a Chinese newspaper that took part in the event in September. (10/19 in Singapore)
It became a good advertisement for Japanese Fugu.
2.A Japanese Fugu business meeting in Singapore.
IFA organized a Japanese Fugu business meeting at the high-end Chinese restaurant on the 60th floor of the UOB building in Singapore. UOB is the leading bank in Singapore.
The restaurant was very crowded, with nearly 100 visitors.
The Fugu ice sculpture is shining.
Seminar and tasting events were also exciting.
We entertained visitors with a super gorgeous menu, such as Fugu sushi, Fugu dumplings, boiled Fugu, deep-fried Fugu, Fugu sashimi, Fugu udon, among others.
A variety of Fugu dishes in Chinese style raises visitors' interest "How do they taste?"
Everyone at the venue restaurant and the chefs who helped with Fugu sushi were accommodating.
This event could not be successful without their cooperation.
My sincere appreciation to them.
Visitors were mostly from restaurants. They were amazed at the appeal of Fugu and a wide range of the menu.
I heard many voices at the business meeting, saying, "If I can import fins, skins, and milt, I want to use them!"
I once again felt that if SFA lifted these import bans, sales would expand.
3.As scheduled, the next day, on October 17th, we organized a Japanese Fugu study session with the Singapore Food Agency.
Prof. Nagashima of Niigata Food and Agriculture University explained the mechanism of Fugu poison.
He delivered all explanations in English without Japanese translation, so it was helpful to shorten the study session time.
I think he worked hard to prepare his text.
During the discussion time, an observer expressed that the Japanese government had a different view on the Fugu poison.
I was thrilled to hear when Dr. Nagashima responded to it by saying, "This is true (about the farmed Fugu is toxin-free)!"
After all, I was impressed with the researchers.
I explained the history of Japanese Fugu eating and Japanese Fugu hygiene rules.
As the representative of IFA, I requested approval of imports of fins, skins, and milt even if those are limited to those of Torafugu Tiger puffers.
This time, five people from each SFA food import department participated in the study session.
There were many questions from the SFA manager during the discussion.
Since he raised many questions, especially about farmed Torafugu tiger puffers, they seemed to show their high interest in Torafugu.
Thanks to Dr. Nagashima, SFA seemed to deepen their understanding of Japanese Fugu.
I felt that imports of fins, skin, and milt could be limited to those of farmed Torafugu.
From now on, the Japanese and Singaporean governments will discuss the details.
I want to express my sincere appreciation to Dr. Nagashima, the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare, the Fisheries Agency, the Japanese Embassy in Singapore, JETRO, Japan Aquatic Products Export Council, and the JF Zengyoren for their support.
This time I felt the most response in negotiations with foreign health authorities about the lifting on the import ban of Japanese Fugu I had experienced so far.
I wanted to use this experience in the future.