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A new crop of farmers is revitalizing Japanese agriculture

Entrepreneurs bring new methods and fresh ideas to farming

Susumu Tanaka of Salad Bowl Group gave up a lucrative career in finance to venture into agriculture. "We could have gone bankrupt at any time," he said about his company's rough start. (Photo by Yukinori Okamura)

TOKYO Driving along a mountain road flanked by lush foliage in Japan's central Yamanashi Prefecture, a huge greenhouse suddenly comes into view, sparkling brilliantly in the sun. The facility may look like a typical tomato farm, but Susumu Tanaka, the man in charge of it, is far from a typical farmer.

Tanaka used to work in finance. In 2004, while still in his early 30s, he gave up his career -- and the 70 million yen ($615,000) salary that went along with it -- to embark on a new kind of challenge. His company, Salad Bowl Group, is now one of the innovative new players in Japanese agriculture.

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