2011/5/15. A dispute is forming between the Miyagi Recovery Commission and Ishinomaki fishermen over opening local fish farming to large corporations.
Already hurt by an ageing workforce, Miyagi fish farming was devastated by the earthquake and tsunami. The tsunami killed fisherman, destroy their boats and destroy many of their fish farms. (see Hiroko Tabuchi, New York Times, 2011/5/12, http://www.nytimes.com/2011/05/12/business/global/12normal.html).
To rebuild the industry, Miyagi Prefecture proposes to open the prefecture's fish farming areas to corporations, arguing that 1) the investments required for recovery are beyond private farmers' reach, 2) there is already an unstoppable shortage of successors to carry on this industry, and 3) corporate participation is needed to regain international competitiveness.
The Miyagi branch of Japan Fisheries, the fishermen's cooperative, is protesting and claims unanimous opposition by its members. Currently, fish farming licenses are a monopoly of Japan Fisheries. Miyagi Prefecture Governer Murai is calling for Japan Fisheries to relax their monopoly and allow corporate participation, stating, "This is something that Miyagi wants to do, so the national government should get off its heavy behind. Experiment deregulation is an appropriate topic for special zones." Kahoku Online Network, 2011/5/14, http://www.kahoku.co.jp/news/2011/05/20110514t11020.htm.