Man Succeeds in Growing Cacao on Tokyo's Ogasawara Chain


Tokyo, Jan. 6 (Jiji Press)--After a decade-long effort, a Japanese man has succeeded in growing cacao on Tokyo's Ogasawara Islands, some 1,000 kilometers south of the downtown area of the Japanese capital.

The Tokyo Cacao chocolate made from cacao grown by Kazuo Orita, 71, a farmer on Hahajima in the Ogasawara chain, hit the market in autumn 2019. The chocolate is made by Hiratsuka Confectionery Co., based in Soka, Saitama Prefecture, north of Tokyo.

Orita was born in Tokyo's Ota Ward in 1948 after his parents moved from Hahajima to the central Tokyo district in 1944 under a compulsory evacuation program during World War II.

He grew up on Japan's mainland until around 20. The Ogasawara Islands were put under U.S. military rule following the war.

After the islands were returned to Japan in 1968, Orita decided to move to Hahajima. The island had become uninhabited and desolate, covered with jungle.

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Jiji Press