Japanese cherry trees threatened by a beetle from abroad

The season of cherry blossoms is officially open in Japan, but experts warn that these iconic fruit trees of the archipelago are now threatened by a beetle from abroad.

The invader is called " aromia bungii ", known as the Red-necked Long-horned Beetle, originating in China, Taiwan, the Korean Peninsula or northern Vietnam.

He lives in cherry or plum trees and strips them of their bark to absorb the water. In the worst case, the invasion of this parasite can kill a tree.

 The Japanese admiring the very first cherry blossoms of the season, March 17, 2018, at the shrine of Yasukuni in Tokyo (photo Jiji Press / AFP ) (JIJI PRESS / AFP - STR)

The Japanese admiring the very first cherry blossoms of the season, March 17, 2018, at Yasukuni shrine in Tokyo (photo Jiji Press / AFP) (JIJI PRESS / AFP – STR )

"If we do not take action, the damage could be significant and we may not be able to appreciate + hanami + (the contemplation of flowers) in a few years," Etsuko Shoda-Kagaya told AFP on Thursday. , a researcher at the Forestry and Forest Products Research Institute.

Spotted for the first time in 2012 in central Aichi Prefecture, this beetle is now approaching Tokyo, according to the Ministry of Environment which officially classified in January the longico in the list of invasive alien species.

Experts believe he was able to enter Japan via the importation of wooden materials.

"The damage will spread if we do nothing", s also worries Makoto Miwa, Center for Environmental Science, Saitama, North Tokyo

Larvae of this longhorn beetle should be eliminated through pesticides and severely affected trees cut down to save others, he said.

The Center published a guide last month to help identify and kill this parasite that measures between three and four centimeters.

"It's important to work with locals to get rid of this insect, it takes time and we need a lot of people to check each tree," says Kagaya.

"I understand that it is hard for some people to cut cherry trees, but it is important to act before the damage spreads," she insists.

 The first ever open cherry blossoms at the Sanctuary of Yasukuni, March 17, 2018, marked the beginning of the season (AFP - Kazuhiro NOGI)

The first ever open cherry blossoms at Yasukuni Sanctuary, March 17, 2018, marked the beginning of the season (AFP – Kazuhiro NOGI)

The season of cherry blossoms officially began last week in Tokyo, with the observation of the first flowers at the Yasukuni Shrine.

The Meteorological Agency reported that cherry blossom had started nine days earlier this year due to warmer weather.

The phenomenon is closely scrutinized each year, and forecasters publish maps of the archipelago describing the flowering periods in each region of the country. It attracts many tourists but also the Japanese who find themselves in parks and gardens to picnic under these trees.

The Mysterious Man of the Japanese Man Holder Custody 13 Thai Children

A Japanese businessman who won custody for 13 children born to surrogate mothers or surrogate mothers in Thailand was not widely known in his home country.

Mitsutoki Shigeta, who was given sole custody by a court in Thailand on Tuesday / 2), is the son of the founder of telecommunication and insurance company Hikari Tsushin. As a major shareholder, he earns billions of dollars of dividends annually. But he chose to shy away from the spotlight.

The surrogate mother or surrogate mothers are women who are bound by covenant with spouses or other clients to conceive the seeds of the client in exchange for certain.

Read: Japanese man wins custody 13 Thai children from substitute mother

The media spotlight on Shigeta after the discovery of babies at a condominium in Bangkok in 2014, eased. Many have identified this as a result of defamation claims and pressure put forward by his father's company. The Japanese-language media referred to him as a 28-year-old unknown man.

Information from a court ruling on Tuesday, from doctors and a fertility clinic also did not help uncover the mystery of Shigeta.

Japanese lawyers reportedly represented Shigeta refusing to discuss the case that. Officials at Hikari Tsushin also declined to comment.

The company started as a business enterprise of business phones and office equipment. Now, the company is traded on the Tokyo Stock Exchange and has more than 180 subsidiaries. Shigeta is the eldest of three brothers of the company's founder, Yasumitsu Shigeta. Shigeta has business in Thailand and Cambodia, where she has children through surrogate mother.

 Wassana Meechamnarn, 32, a former surrogate mother, spoke to an investigator to give testimony as witness to a baby scandal from a surrogate mother involving Japanese businessmen , at the Lumpini police station, in Thailand, August 25, 2018.

Wassana Meechamnarn, 32, a former surrogate mother, spoke to an investigator to give testimony as a witness to a baby scandal from a surrogate mother involving Japanese businessmen, police Lumpini, in Thailand, August 25, 2018.

Some Japanese tabloids in 2014 reported that Shigeta revealed he wanted to produce 100 to 1,000 children. If he succeeds, it will cost millions of dollars. He searched for equipment that could freeze and preserve his "high quality" sperm at home so he could keep producing children until old age, according to Japanese media reports.

Thai authorities dismissed the possibility of human trafficking and other criminal motives. 19659002] Mariam Kukunashvili, founder of New Light clinic in Thailand who recruited some surrogate mothers of the babies told Associated Press in 2014, that Shigeta told him "he wants to have 10-15 babies in a year and he wants continue to make the child until he dies. "According to Kukunashvili, Shigeta also told him that he wanted to advance in the general election and win by using the votes of his extended family.

The Shigeta case and several other cases have prompted the Thai government to ban pregnancy practices with mothers a commercial replacement for foreigners. As a result, many foreigners turned to Cambodia to find a surrogate mother. But Cambodia also later banned this practice. [fw/au]

Japanese man wins custody of 13 Thai children from surrogate mother

The Thai court ruled in favor of a Japanese journalist's request for "sole custody" of 13 of her children born to some Thai surrogate mothers, AFP reported Tuesday (20/2). Thus, the Japanese man could bring the children to Japan

Mitsutoki Shigeta, 28, to be in the spotlight in the scandal of "child factory" in 2014, after Thai police found a DNA link between him and nine babies found in the care of some babysitters 24 hours, in a luxury apartment in Bangkok

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The children are estimated aged between 2 weeks and two years at the time. Since found, they are placed under state care. He also later considered a biological father for four other children.

This discovery highlights the 'wretched-rent' industry in Thailand, which at that time has not been regulated, prompting authorities in 2015 to ban foreigners from paying Thai women into surrogate mothers .

Shigeta, reportedly the son of an industrial technology tycoon in Japan, left Thailand at the time the scandal arose and never directly explained why he has many children.

He then sued the Ministry of Social Development and Humanity to court to get the right (19459007):

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Bangkok Court grants custody to Shigeta on the grounds he has a lot of money to take care of the children and has set up nurses and nannies, in a dormitory "For the happiness and opportunity that will be received by all 13 children from their biological fathers, who have no history of bad behavior, the court decides they become legitimate children of plaintiffs," the Central Youth Tribunal said in a statement. statement. The statement did not name Shigeta for reasons of secrecy.

Shigeta, who did not attend the trial, was considered the "single parent" of the children, after surrogate moms from Thailand abandoned their rights, the court added. [19659002] Shigeta's attorney said he would contact the Social Welfare Ministry to discuss the transfer of the children from state parenting. He added that the timing of custody transfers would depend on the "readiness" of the children, who are on average four years old.

"The possibility of state-owned shelter officers is also needed to stay with them to avoid sudden changes," Kong said. Suriyamontol, Shigeta's lawyer, told reporters outside the courthouse

The Ministry of Social Welfare could not immediately be reached for comment. [fw/au]

Positive Doping, Japanese Fast Spy Slate at Pyeongchang

Japan's fast skater Kei Saito is suspended from the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics after his tests showed he was positive about illicit substances.

Saito arrived at the athletes' village in South Korea's Pyeongchang town on Monday and tested shortly after participating in training activities . He was temporarily suspended by the Sports Arbitration Court after his test showed positive results for acetalozamide, a diuretic that can be used to disguise drugs to improve performance.

In a statement, Saito suggested he was "shocked" by the result, because he never used steroids or even considered using steroids. He left his team and the athlete's village voluntarily so that he would not burden his colleagues.

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According to Associated Press, Saito is the reserve athlete for a team of 5,000 meters relay. This is the first doping case at the Pyeongchang Olympics. [uh]

Japanese Citizens Enjoy "Chocolate Ruby" for Valentine's Day

Valentine's Day this year, obese cowboys Japan can reward their spouses with the world's brightest pink chocolate.

KitKat's chocolate shop in Tokyo's sumptuous shopping district of Ginza looks luxurious with pink color covering the entire wall. The KitKat marketing department made a massive promotion of introducing KitKat's fourth variant of chocolate, having previously offered milk chocolate, dark chocolate and white chocolate.

And the sellers picked the right moment. Valentine's Day or Valentine's Day is a big business in Japan because there is a tradition of women giving gifts to their male partners.

"I love the pink color. I love chocolate. It's great for me, "said 24-year-old Natsuko Takeuchi, who is looking for a sweet snack in Ginza.

" After knowing that this chocolate is made naturally, with no added dye or flavor, I think it's great, "said Takeuchi operates a food trolley inside the Japanese super fast train, Shinkansen.

Over 80 years, when white chocolate was created, consumers in the world had to settle for 3 types of chocolate.

Then in September, the Swiss group Barry Callebaut launched the fruit brown "Ruby," a new type of chocolate after 10 years of research. Five months later chocolate bars went on sale in stores in Japan and South Korea

The red color is easily obtained naturally, with no additives or artificial coloring, said Akiko Hara, manager of Barry Callebaut in Japan, explaining. [19659002] The color comes from "ruby" cocoa, which can be found on ordinary plantations, "Hara told AFP.

The Research and Development section keeps the recipe meetings. Locked in a safe place

The result is a chocolate that not only feels soft and tastes fruits, with a flavor of raspberry flavor.

If Japan is chosen to be the test of new chocolate varieties, that choice is very appropriate.

Japan's chocolate market share is worth almost $ 5 billion per year, according to data from research company Euromonitor.

Japan is still far below the United States ($ 18.9 billion), but above other Asian countries. 19659002] In addition, Japanese consumers are also very fond of different types of products. And this can be seen from the various types of chocolate flavors that KitKat offers, ranging from the flavor of wasabi hinga green tea and sake. [fw/au]