Welcome to Aomori Prefectural Government Web Site
Industries of Aomori Prefecture
Aomori's agriculture industry utilizes the unique qualities of each region, primarily in the Tsugaru region is rice and apple cultivation, whereas in the Kennan region in the southeastern part of the prefecture, vegetable and livestock cultivation is the primary form of agriculture practiced.
Aomori prefecture is one of the foremost agricultural prefectures of Japan, boasting the highest production of apples, nagaimo yam, garlic, and burdock root.
In recent years, in addition to efforts to make Aomori soils the healthiest in Japan and efforts for healthy water cycle securement, etc., Aomori Prefecture is making increased efforts in the promotion of produce sales direct from producers, and processing of agricultural products, and expanded production of agricultral products that are safe, reliable, fresh, and delicious
Delicious Rice from Aomori
- Tsugaru Roman
Debuting in 1997, Tsugaru Roman is planted in the central parts of the Tsugaru region. It was named Tsugaru "Roman" embodying the Romantic sentiments and passion of the rice farmers that produce it. Tsugaru Roman is a grandchild of the famous Japanese rice cultivar, Koshihikari. It has a superior flavor and quality, and is the ace of Aomori rice.
Debuting in the fall of 2006, it is primarily planted in the northwestern area of Tsugaru and the Kennan area. Loosely translated, "Masshigura" means "direct and straight forward", so named for its producers’ pursuit of great taste and high quality, as well as the serious nature of their endeavors. Masshigura is a great-grandchild of the famous Japanese rice cultivar, Koshihikari. It has an excellent flavor, high yield, and with its strong disease resistance, Masshigura is ideal for reduced agricultural chemical cultivation.
About Aomori Apples
- Apples at the Prefecture Office
Apples are thought to have originated in the mountain regions centered in the Caucasus Mountains of Central Asia and the Tianshan Mountains of China, and they first entered Japan in 1871.
In the spring of 1875, the Department of Industry Promotion from the Home Ministry sent three apple saplings to Aomori prefecture. The apples that were grown on the grounds of the Aomori Prefectural Office were the beginnings of Aomori's apples.
Even today, in the front yard of the prefectural office stand 7 different types of apple trees that were planted after 1963, which bloom pretty blossoms in spring, and whose branches become heavy laden with fruit in autumn, these trees are a delight to all visitors to the prefectural office.
A memorial plaque stands still among these apple trees. In 1975, in commemoration of the 100 year history of Aomori's apples, a plaque was erected where the first apple trees were planted which reads, "We shall carry on the many years of gallant efforts of our forefathers, and open the way for a new age of apples."
Every year in autumn, children from welfare institutions are invited to participate and celebrate in the harvest of these apples in the front yard of the prefectural office.
- Aomori Prefectural Industrial Technology Research Center Apple Research Institute
The Apple Research Institute of the Aomori Prefectural Industrial Technology Research Center is located in Kuroishi city and is the only apple experimental research institution in Japan. Established in 1931, the Apple Research Institute carries out experimental research on apples and other fruit trees.
On site at the Apple Research Institute is the Apple Archives Building, the former main building of the institute that was modeled after the East Malling Research Station in the United Kingdom. Currently the Apples Archives Building serves as a historical museum displaying information about apple cultivars and history.
- About Fuji Apples
Early Fuji Apples: a product of a mutation known as limb sport and cross seedlings. Examples cultivars include: Hirosaki Fuji, Beni Shogun, Korin, Ryoka no Kisetsu, etc.
Its appearance and flavor are similar to standard Fuji apples, however they are a line of early maturing apples that are ready for harvest approximately 1 month before standard Fuji apples.
Sold in October.
Fuji (bagged and unbagged cultivation) Apples are the most produced cultivar both in Japan and in the world. They are approximately 350 grams, and have deep crimson stripes.
Sun Fuji (unbagged) Apples are juicy with "honey" inside, are sweet, and are sold from their harvest season in early November until March.
Bagged Fuji apples have excellent color and shelf life, and are mainly sold from April until August.
Forests comprise an area of approximately 66 percent (640,000 hectares) of Aomori prefecture. Each region has trees distinct to its own area, both the Tsugaru and Shimokita peninsulas have the hiba tree (a type of Japanese cypress) and the Hakkoda Mountains and the mountains of the Shirakami Sanchi have beech, while the Kennan area has Japanese red pine, etc. Japanese cedar is found all over the prefecture in an area of approximately 200,000 hectares.
In order to utilize the rich and diverse resources of Aomori's forests in a sustainable way, the prefecture promotes the development of various types of forests by planting hiba (cypress) and broadleaf trees, in addition to the promotion of the utilization of regional characteristics by the forestry and timber industries, and responsible forestry practices that are kind to residents and the environment alike.
Trees of Aomori Prefecture
Beech grows in great numbers in the Hakkoda Mountains and in the Shirakami Sanchi. Of note, the virgin beech forest of the Shirakami Sanchi is said to be the largest such forest in all of East Asia.
With a large water retention capability, beech forests have a highly important public function to help in the conservation of headwaters and preventing ground erosion, as well as serving as the origin that creates the beautiful natural environment of Aomori prefecture.
Beech is used in making crafts and premium furniture.
- Hiba (Cypress)
Grows prevalently in both the Tsugaru and Shimokita Peninsulas, and the combined amount of this resource is the highest in Japan.
Known for its beautiful wood surfaces and its superior antibacterial properties, the hiba forests of Aomori are counted as one of the top three beautiful forests of Japan.
Besides their use in building homes, Aomori's hiba are also used as a building material for temples and shrines.
The most prevalent tree growing in the prefecture. Aomori's artificially planted cedar forests are the 4th largest in Japan.
Cedar is used as a construction material and as an interior material in houses, and recently cedar is even made into plywood.
- Japanese Red Pine
Grows in the Kennan region of the prefecture in large numbers.
Japanese red pine's high strength makes it often used for beams and piles for houses, along with its great ability to generate heat makes it often used in ceramics.
Aomori prefecture is surrounded by the sea on three sides, including the sheltered Mutsu Bay. The entire length of the coastline in the prefecture is about 800 km, roughly the same distance from Aomori to Tokyo.
The Tsushima Warm Current moves north through the Sea of Japan where it branches off to form the Tsugaru Warm Current, which moves through the Tsugaru Strait before interacting with the mixing of the Oyashio Cold Current and the Kuroshio Warm Current in the Pacific Ocean.
The mixing of both warm and cold currents allows for a wide variety of marine species to be caught, and large concentrations of plankton occur where the currents interact, resulting in many fish, which feed on this plankton, making the waters surrounding Aomori to be highly productive.
Surrounded by land on most sides, the calm waters of the Mutsu Bay are home to a flourishing scallop aquaculture industry.
In this way, flourishing fisheries are being carried out utilizing the unique qualities of each of these waters in Aomori prefecture, and in order to continue stable fisheries, scallop aquaculture is being carried out along with a wild stock enhancement program which releases salmon, lefteye flatfish, and abalone, as well as implement resource management based fisheries that regulate fishing (catch sizes and fishing seasons, etc.) for certain species such as lefteye and righteye flatfish.
Aomori's commerce sector includes 15,155 retailers, making up 81.2% of the prefecture's total commerce industry, with an annual merchandise sale amount totaling at 1.4399 trillion yen, making up 43.5% of the entire commerce industry.
A look at the composition of retailers indicates that food and drink retail was the highest, with 5,643 shops making up 37.2% of the number of retailers, and 32.5% of all retail sales.
- Promotion of Downtown Commercial Areas
Following the societal changes such as declining birth rates, aging population, and declining population, the importance of the revitalization of city centers, downtown commercial areas, and compact urban planning is increasing as the role expected of these areas to serve as a community space increase. The prefecture is working to enhance and promote downtown commercial areas, as well as implement vacant shop countermeasures.
(PHOTO:Seminar for fostering young leaders of downtown commercial areas)
(PHOTO:A new type of sake (Japanese rice wine) that was developed as part of a measure to improve downtown commercial areas)
Manufacturing, along with agriculture and tourism related industries are "extraterritorial market industries" and are essential in order to acquire external sources of money both from other areas in Japan and overseas, that will serve as capital towards the vitalization of the regional economy.
The composition of industry in Aomori prefecture according to final product value is as follows, nonferrous metals are the highest at 19.9%, followed by foodstuffs, steel, pulp/paper, and electronic components, and these five industries make up a total of 62.7% of the total industry.
Aomori Prefecture is promoting strategic measures to attract business to the area, including low-carbon industry, green data centers, hybrid automobile component manufacturers and wind farms, in addition to fostering and strengthening the local industry and the gathering of growing industry sectors centered on manufacturing, all while utilizing the potential of the area, including the rich invaluable human resources in Aomori known for their perseverance, as well as the high level of manufacturing expertise and the rich agriculture, forestry, and fisheries products of the region.
Diverse Collection of Industries
In both of these regions that possess unique industry characteristics, the prefecture is working to promote the utilization of the potential of the area to become a gathering place of industry, as well as the development of invaluable human resources.
- Tsugaru Area
The Tsugaru area which includes Aomori city and Hirosaki city, is a gathering place for industries involving semiconductors, electronics components and devices, electromechanics,precision machinery, information and communication technologies, and medical equipment, and it has a particularly large collection of optical related industries involved in the research and development as well as manufacturing of fiber optics, including optical devices, optical prisms, image processing devices, semiconductor testing equipment, etc.
Additionally, the Tsugaru area is blessed with a rich agricultural, forestry, and fisheries resources and a thriving food products industry. The prefecture is promoting an "Aomori Wellness Land Concept" which aims to create and foster medical, health, and welfare related industries, through cooperation with universities in the prefecture and the creation of food related industries according to the "Aomori Agriculture and Manufacturing Best Mix - New Industry Creation Concept."
- Kennan & Shimokita Areas
The industries centered in the Hachinohe area include basic materials industries such as steel, nonferrous metals, paper production, and chemical, in addition to semiconductor manufacturing equipment, information and telecommunication devices, automobile and aircraft components, software, and processed food products centered on processed fisheries products.
In the Shimokita area, nuclear power related industries, large-scale wind power farms, an international nuclear fusion energy research center, and an institute for environmental sciences are located, making the area one of the few leading centers in Japan for energy development and research.
With stable energy supply and global warming countermeasures becoming a global issue, the prefecture is working to create a gathering place of new technologies and new industries in the fields of alternative energy, energy conservation, and environmental recycling through environmental and energy research and development that is expected to expand the demand for these industries.
Strategic Projects Utilizing Regional Strengths
- Aomori Agriculture and Manufacturing Best Mix - New Industry Creation Concept
Aiming for the creation of a new industry linking agriculture and manufacturing, the prefecture is working to develop agriculture production systems with industrial technology and alternative energy use, in addition to developing products that utilize the agricultural, forestry, and fisheries resources through a fusion of cutting-edge technologies from medical, agriculture, and manufacturing fields, and lastly, develop a distribution and sales system that is not confined to conventional production and distribution systems.
- Rokkasho Next Generation Energy Park
Rokkasho village is a gathering place for many energy related facilities, including wind farms, nuclear fuel cycle facilities, an international nuclear fusion energy research center, and a petroleum reserve station, among others. The Rokkasho Next Generation Energy Park was designated by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry and opened in May of 2010. The Rokkasho Next Generation Energy Park allows visitors to see, touch, and experience energy related subjects, and visitors from children to adults can further their understanding of energy, the ideal state of energy, and the importance of energy.
Thriving Small & Mid-Sized Manufacturing Companies
Armed with creative ideas and legitimate technological expertise, the manufacturing firms of Aomori prefecture are playing an active role both in Japan and overseas. Of these, the following companies were featured in "300 Thriving Manufacturing Enterprises" by the Small and Medium Enterprise Agency of the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry of Japan.
- Tefco Aomori Co., Ltd. (Metallic products)
A truly unique company with unique technology to electrodeposit numbers and letters on the dial index of watches.
Using electrolysis formation techniques to create letters and numbers on the dial index of wristwatches, Tefco Aomori is the recipient of international patents, boasting a large share of the global market.
- Tamagawa Seiki Co., Ltd. (Electronic components & devices)
Pushing the boundaries of modern motortronics.
Using motortronic technology to manufacture high precision angular sensors and more for use in factory automation, automobiles, aerospace, etc.
- Joy World Pacific Co., Ltd. (Electrical machines)
Developed the world's first one-touch automatic calorimeter.
Using near-infrared ray analysis technology, Joy World Pacific developed the world's first machine that can accurately measure caloric content at a touch of a button requiring no technical knowledge.
- Technical Co., Ltd. (Precision machinery)
Manufactures special prisms for optics using their unique manufacturing expertise.
One of the few prisms specialty enterprises in Japan. Developed "Chrovit", the world's first multidirectional and simultaneous observable optical component.
- Nikkohm Co., Ltd. (Electronic components and devices)
Develops industrial resistors that boast some of the world's highest precision.
Nikkohm supplies industrial resistors to 400 businesses in Japan and 50 businesses abroad, being used in hybrid automobiles and serve to support social infrastructure.
- Namiki Precision Jewel Co., Ltd. (Precision machinery)
Supplying essential components to the world's top manufacturers.
Top-level industry manufacturer of ultrafine components made with nano-scale precision work and assemblage technology. Also developed a 1.5mm diameter geared motor, the smallest in the world.
- Taisei Kogyo Co., Ltd. (General machinery)
Replicating the cold of the north into modern temperature control technology.
Thanks to temperature control technology, better tasting food products, maintenance of freshness, and longer shelf lives are possible, contributing to the added-value of agriculture and fisheries products.
- Bunaco Co., Ltd. (Wood manufactured products)
Developer of modern prestige products made from beech wood.
Using an unique and environmentally friendly technique of coiling beech wood tape to create the Bunaco brand of products that are gaining recognition across the globe.
- Towa Electrict Industry Co., Ltd. (Electrical machines)
The top Japanese manufacturer of portable sugar content analysis devices.
The top Japanese manufacturer of Amamir, a portable optical sugar content sensor. This rapid and non-destructive method of measuring sugar content, improves the ability to grow added-value fruit.
- Claro Inc. (Electrical machines)
Claro pioneered their unique virtual slide technology, which is expanding globally.
Providing both the Japanese and global markets with their Virtual Slide System which produces high-resolution digital images.
- Sanko Denshi Industrial Co., Ltd. (Electronic components and devices)
Provide high quality thermistor temperature sensors that are essential to consumer electronics.
Developed a revolutionary and environmentally friendly bonding technology that uses lasers. Makes the top of their class quality temperature sensors in the industry, using a specially developed manufacturing device.
- Atsugi Co., Ltd. - Mutsu Plant (Apparel)
A leader in women's stockings production in Japan.
Using their unique technological expertise to create high added-value stockings, changing the face the of the apparel industry in Japan.