Saine comments

Posted in: Japanese fast food chain serves up burgers with Camembert 'buns' See in context

Another example of a questionable product for the sake of newsworthiness. Although I admire the creativity of product development chefs in Japan, one can tell that the constant need for new and exciting products has pushed the people at Dom Dom to desperation.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Sushi fans mark your calendars! All sushi is half off in unprecedented Kappa Sushi one-day offer See in context

Kappa-sushi has been trying to make a comeback but they have been mired with difficulties. Their new CEO, Kouki Tanabe is under investigation for allegedly illegally stealing information from his previous employer.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Posted in: More than 75% of Japanese don't want overseas fans at Olympics: poll See in context

Other countries should save Japan the trouble and just abstain from participation.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Posted in: Perdue barbecues to sell Japanese on buying more U.S. beef See in context

Really good comments across the board. I would definitely agree that Australia has excellent grass fed beef and is probably better for you than factory farmed US beef. British beef can also be quite good as well - the UK has been working hard at raising livestock standards.

I'm actually heavily involved in the export of US beef to Japan. The US has cattle stocks of about 80 million or so depending on the year (roughly 9% of world stocks). This means that US beef production is actually quite diverse, There are many small scale producers that make premium grass fed beef from heritage breeds of cattle. However, the market is dominated by 2 major producers, or "packers" as we call them, that crank out factory farmed beef that's definitely not raised in the best of conditions. However, antibiotics and hormones are used less than you would think. Under industry guidelines, antibiotics are given to few cattle as possible (this also cuts down on production costs) and there is a mandatory withdrawal time for the antibiotic to be fully metabolized before the sick cow can be sent to slaughter.

All that being said, the importers in Japan are not really seeking out US beef for the quality - they are looking for cheap meat with a certain flavor profile. Most of the imported beef is actually going to use in cheap chain restaurants (think gyudon) rather than supermarkets. So what you see in the supermarket is probably going to cheaper cuts of ungraded beef that are best passed over. Based on all of that, I would say go for either Aussie beef of Japanese beef if you're looking for a good steak in Japan.

TL;DR: I'm involved in US beef export business. There's definitely good beef in US, but most of the stuff shipped to Japan is mass produced and cheap for foodservice use. If you want to get a good steak at the supermarket, I recommend you stick to the Aussie or Japanese beef.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Posted in: Japanese cheese factory aims to cut it in face of foreign competition See in context

There are some high quality artisanal cheese makers in Japan, but their products are not readily available. Most of the domestic cheese found in supermarkets is characterless and bland. In particular, what’s marketed as “Camembert” is trash compared to the real deal.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Japan's cyber security minister admits never having used computer See in context

Well “Cyber” security has never really been Japan’s strong suit. My company uses antiquated standards and all kinds of wonky software that’s rife with vulnerabilities.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Posted in: ¥14 mil stolen from man after pepper spray attack at Tokyo hotel See in context

If getting pepper sprayed is national news I would say Japan is a pretty safe place. Where I’m from in the us regular shootings barley get a mention in the paper.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Posted in: Japan, 2 other Asian nations warn citizens not to use marijuana in Canada See in context

A nation does have the right to make laws governing the actions of citizens abroad. However, they have no jurisdiction to enforce these laws abroad. If it could be proven in a court one could be liable in theory.

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