In the press review of Friday, May 7, we will discuss: the increase in travel during the Golden Week, the ban on exports of agricultural products and the winner of the sportswoman of the year.

Travel and Golden Week

The means of transport have seen significant increases in the number of passengers during the holidays of the Golden Week, compared to the same period last year, during the first state of emergency. About 2,958,000 passengers boarded the shinkansen and express trains between April 28 and May 5, an increase of about 5.7 times compared to the holidays of the Golden Week from last year. However, the traffic of holidaymakers on the shinkansen and express trains, a fell 74% compared to the 2019 vacation, before the coronavirus pandemic hit. On average, traffic on the main expressways amounted to 28,900 vehicles per day, about twice as many as last year. Tuesday, a traffic jam of 41.1 kilometers occurred near the Kawagoe Interchange on the entrance lanes of the Kanetsu Expressway in Saitama County. The traffic has decreased by 43% on average compared to the holidays of the Golden Week 2019.

Prohibition of sales of agricultural products

Japan recently made it illegal to transport or send seeds or seedlings of locally grown agricultural products out of the country, in order to protect local producers from the consequences of unauthorized cultivation abroad. The ban follows concerns about the cultivation and sale abroad in recent years of seeds and seedlings of domestic varieties of plants registered in the United States. Japan, such as shine muscat grape, lemon-colored, without permission from local producers. The Agriculture Ministry announced last month that it had decided to ban the export of seeds and seedlings of 1,975 agricultural products. However, the ministry said “That it remains difficult to eradicate exports to third countries of products using seeds and plants already banned”. Those found guilty of illegally exporting designated agricultural products may be sentenced to up to 10 years in prison, to a fine up to 10 million yen (€ 75,880) or a combination of both, while institutions could be fined up to 300 million yen (€ 2,276,400).

Naomi Ôsaka rewarded

Japanese tennis star Naomi Osaka was named sportswoman of the year at the Laureus World Sports Awards 2021. Osaka, who won his second singles title in the US Open last year, became the first Japanese athlete to claim the annual top prize of Laureus awards that honor athletes with outstanding achievement. In addition to his Grand Slam success, Osaka’s activism linked to the protests Black Lives Matter also contributed to obtaining its award. She wore a different face mask for each game of the US Open 2020, each named after a black victim of police or racial violence in the United States. In 2019, Osaka won the award Laureus World Breakthrough of the Year, which is awarded to a new star athlete. He’s the Spanish tennis player, Rafael Nadal, who was named athlete Laureus World of the year 2021. The Japanese badminton player Kento momota, who had been nominated for the Laureus World Comeback of the Year, failed to win the award.

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