Hospitality to the Muslims in Dogo

To increase the number of Muslim tourists, the Dogo Onsen Ryokan Cooperative held a workshop on halal food, which is acceptable according to Muslim law.

It was held at a hotel in Dogo, Matsuyama, on July 13 as part of the inbound promotion project by the cooperative. About 30 employees of the hotels learned details of Islamic food and halal ingredients. The chief director of the cooperative said, “In preparation for the 2025 Osaka Kansai Expo, I want employees to learn more about halal so that many people from overseas will come to Dogo.”

A professor from Matsuyama University, who served as a lecturer, explained that although pork and alcohol are prohibited in Islam, what they can eat depends on their country, region, and individual, so it is important to check what the guests can’t eat when they make a reservation.

(July 14, Ehime Shimbun)

Kawachi Bankan Exported to Europe

Packing and inspection for export of Kawachi Bankan, a kind of citrus, took place in Ainan-cho, and a 100 kgs of golden fruit was sent in boxes. They will be shipped by air to Germany, Switzerland, and France for the first time.

Ehime prefecture, Ainan-cho and JA Ehime-Minami are in cooperation to expand the market of Kawachi Bankan in Europe. This is part of the Citrus Export Promotion project operated by the prefecture. There is already a big market in Europe for Yuzu citrus produced in Kochi which earns over 300 million yen a year. The three organizations are struggling to expand the Kawachi Bankan market, following Yuzu’s lead.

Kawachi Bankan, prepared exclusively for export to Europe, was transported to Ippommatsu Furusato Seikatsu-kan, registered as a facility for export, and sent to be inspected by the Kobe plant protection station. The fruit that passed the inspection was soaked in Hypochlorous acid to sterilize the surface of the peel, dried, and then boxed.

According to the branding strategy division of Ehime prefecture, staff members from the prefecture and Ainan-cho will be dispatched to the importing countries for promotion activities. This is a first step to boost the exports next year and onwards.

(July 7, Ehime Shimbun Online)

Iyotetsu Group Bus to EV

The Iyotetsu Group Co., Ltd., in a shift to electric vehicles, concluded a contract to invest 100 million yen in EV Motors Japan Co., Ltd. located in Kita-kyushu which manufactures and sells electric vehicles. Iyotetsu has ordered an EV bus and is also planning to be a provider of EV maintenance services and sales in Shikoku for EV Motors.

 EV Motors Japan was founded in 2019 and develops, manufactures, and sells a commercial EV. According to the company, they have succeeded in reducing power consumption and in making batteries last longer by a motor control system which is their own technology. Also, the vehicle’s body is made of carbon fiber making its body weight lighter. It is planned that a final assembly factory for mass production with test courses will start operation in Kita-kyushu in the fall of next year.

The Iyotetsu group purchased an EV motorcoach accommodating 78 passengers (length:10.5m) with the cruising range of 280 km at the maximum with batteries fully charged. The new EV bus will be introduced to the popular routes in Matsuyama next January. They also plan to accumulate knowledge to maintain EV, and then to provide the maintenance service to the enterprises introducing EV in the future. They intend to sell EV to other bus companies in Shikoku as well.

Mr. Ichiro Shimizu, the president of the IYOTETSU Group Co., LTD. said that conversion to EV bus is essential to realize carbon-neutrality. Once the operation of the EV bus starts, people will understand its quietness and comfort.

(July 2, Asahi Shimbun Digital)

Two Ukrainian Evacuees in Ehime

 As a result of the invasion of Ukraine by Russia, two women in their 40s from Odessa Oblast in southern Ukraine were evacuated to Japan and started living in Saijo City, Ehime Prefecture, from June 30. According to the Prefectural Tourism International Division, they are the first Ukrainian refugees that have been accepted in the prefecture.

 Tomohisa Ishikawa, chairman of the NPO “Regional Revitalization and Personalized Medical Support” is their guarantor. He said they contacted him after his announcement about the acceptance of refugees was released on social media just after Russian’s invasion in February. He prepared for their visas while keeping in touch with the two who wished to come to Japan. Their visas were issued by the Japanese Embassy in Poland in late June, and then they came to Ehime.

 For the time being, they will stay at a guest house in the city. They currently have a status of residence of up to 90 days and will soon begin the procedure to switch to a “designated activities” status of residence for up to one year.

(July 1, Ehime Shimbun Online)

Rest Area for Cyclists Opens in Kurushima-Kaikyo SA

 On July 1st, a “Cycle Oasis” rest area for cyclists opened in the Kurushima-Kaikyo Service Area (SA) on the Setouchi Shimanami Kaido (Imabari City, Ehime Prefecture). This rest area is the first on the Honshu-Shikoku Expressway. Bicycle pumps and tools are available for rent at the information desk inside the facility.

 The Honshu Expressway has a community gate in the Kurushima-Kaikyo SA where not only expressway users but also local residents and cyclists can enter and exit the SA from general roads. There are bicycle and car parking areas near the gate, and people can walk through the gate to enter the SA.

(July 1, Ehime Shimbun Online)

Ukraine National Team Practiced in Ehime

The Ukraine national sumo team held practice open to the public at Otoi Hall in Seiyo-city, Ehime, on June 18. It was part of the training for the international sumo tournament “World Games” scheduled in July in the US. Ten Ukrainians including wrestlers and coaches came to Ehime on June 15 and practiced from the 16th to the 28th. The daily practices were conducted in at 10 am and 3 am, and the afternoon practice on the 18th was open to the public. Before the practice, the local people held a welcome ceremony. There was a Japanese drum performance, and the Ukrainians were presented with relief supplies.

During the practice, the six Ukrainian wrestlers had practice bouts with five Japanese wrestlers from the Ehime Sumo Federation for an hour and a half. About 170 people from inside and outside of the city watched the practice and gave a big applause to the dynamic bouts. One Ukrainian wrestler said, “I am very honored to be able to practice in the sacred place of sumo. I am really motivated by all this support.”

(June 19, Ehime Shimbun)