USA Rice Federation has learned that Kitoku-Shinryo's rice facility in Sendai, Japan, was demolished by last Friday's earthquake and ensuing tsunami. In addition, two of the company's employees are missing. The facility handled milling, packaging and storage.
Kitoku-Shinryo, a rice importer and wholesaler, has imported U.S.-grown rice for many years through the simultaneous-buy-sell import system used in USA Rice's promotions in Japan.
"Kitoku-Shinryo, its owners, and its employees have, for nearly two decades, strongly supported the importation and promotion of U.S. rice in Japan," USA Rice Asia/Turkey Promotion Subcommittee Chairman Chris Crutchfield said. "Many of us in the industry have developed close, personal friendships with our counterparts at Kitoku-Shinryo. During this time of great tragedy, our hearts, thoughts, and prayers go out to all of them and their families."