Japan tries to revive apple exports via friendly slogan


TOKYO — In an effort to revive apple exports and thank Taiwan for its generous aid after the March 11 earthquake and tsunami, some Japanese organic farmers have been printing the slogan “friendly relations between Taiwan and Japan” on their apples. At a promotional event Nov. 7, apple farmers in Aomori Prefecture displayed Fuji apples printed with the slogan in edible white ink to welcome Taiwanese media and Japanese TV host Kobayashi Yumi, who works in Taiwan. Government officials and apple farmers in the prefecture are concerned because exports to Taiwan have declined since the magnitude 9.0 quake. Japanese apple exports to Taiwan declined from 1,382 tons in March to 1,282 tons in April, and at one point hit zero in May because the Taiwanese government classified the prefecture’s agricultural products as radioactive.