Activity Report

Activity Report of Open Application Course vol.51

Young researchers in China gain exposure to Japanese state-of-the-art
agricultural technologies

Report of Prof. Zhang Shu-huai, Faculty of Agriculture and Life Science, Hirosaki University

“Experience Japanese State-of-Art Agricultural Technologies” project was caried out with the support of the SAKURA Exchange Program in Science for eight days from Feb. 3rd to 10th in 2018. The Faculty of Agriculture and Life Science, Hirosaki University welcomed six people (the Dean and five students) from Yanbian University which is a partner university, two from the Research Institute of Special Products, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences and one from JiLin Agricultural Science and Technology University. A total of nine young researchers joined the project.

Through this visit to Japan, the participants were not only exposed to state-of-the-art agricultural technologies via their tours of facilities in Japan, they also were able to reach an agreement on future exchange programs, a basic matter of joint research as well as the establishment of a collaborative laboratory, in particular, as both universities have been discussing. More active exchange activities are expected in the future. The agreement was officially concluded for the establishment of a joint laboratory later on.

1. Lecture on the production of “Japanese beef”

Since several participants are specialized in animal production, Professor Masatoshi Matsuzaki of the Animal Husbandry Laboratory, Faculty of Agriculture and Life Science, Hirosaki University provided a lecture about “Japanese beef” (which is very popular in China). The participants actively joined the question and answer session about research related to “Apple Beef” and “Apple Lamb”, which were developed by Hirosaki University in particular.

image1 Lecture on the production of “Japanese beef”

2. Learning about red fleshed apple cultivar “Kurenai no Yume”

Associate Professor Taishi Hayashida at the Fujisaki Farm of the Faculty of Agriculture and Life Science, Hirosaki University, explained the details of “Kurenai no Yume”, an apple cultivar developed by the farm in which not only the skin, but the flesh, is red. The characteristics of the apples, current production and the distribution conditions, etc. were presented. Participants tasted the apple and food processed from the apples, such as juice and jam as well, after the lecture. They not only enthusiastically learned about the productions, but enjoyed the delicious apples in Aomori very much.

image2 Apple taste
image3 Apple juice taste

3. Learning about “Winter agriculture”

Atsushi Ito, a research scientist of the Agriculture Research Institute of the Aomori Prefectural Industrial Technology Center, talked about the development and production & management technologies of “Seiten no Hekireki”, which is the only Special Grade A rice in Aomori, as well as the aproaches related to “Winter agriculture”. The participants visited the facilities which are associated with these technologies. All the participants who live in the area of northeast China, where the temperature remains -20℃ day after day, were impressed by the greenhouse facilities where temperature and other factors are strictly controlled, and strawberries, lettuce, and medicinal herbs, etc. are growing inside while there are piles of snow all over outside.

image4 Strawberry production in the greenhouse
image5 Environment control room of the greenhouse

4. Experience Japanese culture and social activities with the faculty members

Since all of the participants, except for the group leaders, were visiting Japan for the first time, we introduced them to a piece of Japanese culture. They seemed to enjoyed a foot bath which warmed them up in the cold weather. At the social gathering with the faculty members of the Faculty of Agriculture and Life Science, Hirosaki University, which accepted these participants for this program, we exchanged opinions and information about joint research in the future and what graduate students from Yanbian University, who have been pursuing master's degrees or doctoral courses of our faculty, have been learning.

image6 At the foot bath facility
image7 Social gathering with the faculty members

And last, we are deeply grateful for the great support from the SAKURA Exchange Program in Science for this project, and to the faculty members who helped to make this project come true in processing applications and carrying out this program.