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Newsletter

We issue monthly e-newsletters, which provide you with the latest updates on food labeling/regulations in Japan.

Ever-changing regulations can be an hassle to keep up with (especially when in Japanese!): we share here the most relevant content and provide a professional analysis of the current situation and future outcomes for businesses engaged in the food sector (including impact on importation and consumers behavior), written by our experienced expert.

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Past issues

December 2020

Handling of food additive list and food/drug category list in Japan new

Recently, we have held a webinar hosted by REACH24H Consulting Group, a Chinese corporation that provides consulting on regulatory-related matters about chemicals for various countries. I talked mainly about the title of this article although the theme I received was "Regulatory Requirements of Food Ingredients/Additives Used in Japan"..........more

December 2020

Food labeling system regarding "Health" in Japan~Taiwan to ban the display of "health" in a product name of general foods products from July 2022~ new

An news which attracts interests was announced in Taiwan in August this year. According to an announcement by Taiwan Food and Drug Administration (TFDA), it will be prohibited to display "health" in a product name of general food products. It will go into effect on July 1, 2022..........more

November 2020

About the recycling mark

Food labeling is required for containers and packaging, but similarly, when using containers and packaging of the applicable material, it is necessary to display the "identification mark", the so-called recycling mark. Containers and packaging" are the "containers" including bottles, cans, and bags, which contain products, and the "packaging" including packaging papers and wrapping films,.........more

November 2020

Overseas Food Standards information~regarding the standards relating to meat substitutes, Nutrition facts and Best before/Used by date labeling~

This article is a sequel to our June 2020 article, "Updates on International measures regarding Food Labeling regulations during the COVID-19 Pandemic". We would like to take this opportunity to share information about the changes taking place in Japan this year, based on our experiences..........more

October 2020

Regarding organic JAS system

Organic JAS system based on the JAS Act (Act on Japanese Agricultural Standards) allows the organic JAS logo to be used only by the registered business operators that have been certified by the accredited certification bodies to verify that organic foods are produced in compliance with the standard for “organic JAS”. This system sets the standard of sustainable production methods so as to.........more

October 2020

Fair Competition Code related to labeling Foods for Specified Health Uses

"Fair Competition Code and Enforcement Regulations on Labeling of Foods for Specified Health Uses" announced by the Consumer Affairs Agency and the Fair Trade Commission on June 24, 2020, took effect on August 21st. Since Fair Competition Code has been required for Foods for Specified Health Uses, which are subjected to inspection by the Japanese government in terms of labelling, .........more

September 2020

About the importance and role of Japan's "Fair Competition Code" in food labeling, And the compliance to its rules new

In Japan, the "Fair Competition Code" is voluntarily set by business operators or business associations (councils): It is based on the "Act against Unjustifiable Premiums and Misleading Representations" which stipulates to prohibit misleading and false labeling statements or representations.........more

September 2020

"Partial revision of the guidelines for the legal product names of seafood" and "Proposed procedure for new standardized Japanese names for fish" announced new

On July 16th, 2020, the Consumer Affairs Agency (CAA) announced the "Partial revision of the guidelines for the legal product names of seafood" and the "Proposal procedure for the new standardized Japanese names for fish according to the guidelines for the legal names of seafood"..........more

August 2020

Labeling of food containing designated ingredients, etc. enforced on June 1.

"Food containing designated ingredients, etc." refers to foods that contain ingredients designated by the Minister of Health, Labour and Welfare as ingredients requiring special precautions. The law to partially amend the Food Sanitation Act was promulgated on June 13th, 2018. One of the outlines of the revision is "Collecting health hazards information from foods containing ingredients requiring.........more

August 2020

Removal of the terms "Synthetic" and "Artificial" from Food Labeling Standards~The transitional period is until March 31, 2022~

On May 25, 2020, The Consumer Commission Food Labeling Section Meeting deliberated on the partial revisions to Food Labeling Standards (such as labeling of food additives, etc.), and approved to the consultation paper and the proposed draft report to remove the terms.........more

July 2020

Regarding wording for Nutrient Content Claims

"Rich in calcium", "zero-fat", "30% less salt"... Regarding Nutrient Content Claims, "Food Labeling Standards" define the standards, and the labeling must meet the specified conditions. Take a look at the examples of expressions below. Examples of expression indicating the ability of a food to supplement nutrients, or to ensure the proper intake of certain nutrients/calories.........more

July 2020

"Dietary Reference Intakes for Japanese (2020 version)" have been announced~Revision of the standard values for the labeling of nutrients shelved~

The Consumer Affairs Agency announced the "Business Inspection Report on the revision of the standard values for the labeling of nutrients (hereinafter "Report")" on April 24, 2020. *Please note that it might not be the latest since Food Labeling Standards,.........more

June 2020

Cabinet Office Ordinance specifying "allergens", "used by/expiration date", "whether or not the food needs to be heated for safe ingestion" or any other information that may have a material impact on the safety of ingestion of food, as prescribed in Article 6, Paragraph 8 of the Food Labeling Act

This month, I would like to take up the above Cabinet Office Ordinance, as it has a serious impact on food safety..........more

June 2020

Updates on International measures regarding Food Labeling regulations during the COVID-19 Pandemic

It has been a few months since the world is knowing a global crisis, that involves a battle between nature and sciences. As it has been a priority to the governments to inhibit the spread of the COVID-19 infection amongst the populations, lots of businesses and legislative activities are being postponed temporarily without totally losing guard especially on Food safety and labeling. .........more

May 2020

Points to be noted about the labeling of frozen chilled products

"フロチル(fro-chill)” is the abbreviation of “フローズンチルド商品“(frozen” and “chilled product) in Japanese. Although there is no clear definition of the term, this refers to products of which storage condition will be changed from "frozen" to "chilled" such as : - "products that are distributed and stored in a frozen state, thawed at the time of sale and sold in a chilled state'' - "products that are .........more

May 2020

About the flexible operation of the Food Labeling Standards and the Rice Traceability Act in response to the shortage of supplies of imported ingredients from China due to the spread of the new coronavirus infection

[April 13, 2020, postscript] On April 10, 2020, the Consumer Affairs Agency(CAA) issued a new notice. The previous notification that China was the sole target country (dated March 3&9, 2020) has been abolished..........more

April 2020

Food additives in Japan: "Draft report on Discussion about the Labeling System for Food Additives" published

At the 9th discussion on the Labeling System for Food Additives held on February 27, 2020, the Consumer Affairs Agency published the "Report on Discussions about the Labeling System for Food Additives (Draft)". Regarding the labeling system for additives,.........more

March 2020

About the additives labeling methods

This time, I would like to feature the additives labeling methods as ingredients. Taking the following labeling as an example, I would like to review them along with the Food Labeling Standards. Ingredients: wheat, sugar, whole egg, vegetable oil and fat, cashew, glucose syrup, walnut, almond powder, maple syrup, milk, salt/leavening agent, trehalose, thickening agent (xanthan), flavoring agent,.........more

March 2020

The guidelines' draft for the ex-post review on Foods with Function Claims has been published.

The Consumer Affairs Agency (CAA) published "The guidelines' draft to ensure transparency of the ex-post regulations (ex-post review) of Foods with Function Claims based on related legislations on food labeling, etc." and started receiving public comments on January 16, 2020..........more

February 2020

Food label news: Highlights of 2019 and upcoming schedules

During the past year, there were various announcements and changes related to food labeling. As this year, 2020, will be the end for the transition period for the new Food Labeling Standard, we hope this article will offer you the opportunity to check again the upcoming schedules..........more

January 2020

About the use of “-free” and “non-use” for labeling of additives ~From the discussions about the labeling system of food additives~

The 6th “discussion about the labeling system for food additives” was held at the Consumer Affairs Agency (CAA) on November 1, 2019. The discussion started in April 2019, mainly regarding the use of “-free” and “non-use” for labeling. Therefore, I would like to feature it here..........more

December 2019

Changing food markets and the moves in labeling regulations

In the past few years, the processed food market has been growing rapidly on an international scale which implied a constant control on the labeling regulations in order to quickly adapt to the market changes and the emerging new food products. As in Japan, the regulations of food labeling have been amended reflecting these changes in the recent years, I would also like to focus on the.........more

November 2019

About the target ingredients

One of our primary business operations is to submit “Food Labeling Review Report” to our clients after confirming their draft of food label based on the formulations and ingredients specifications from our clients who have already created their labels. For both those who create and confirm the documents in which “ingredients” and “additives” are listed in order of weight by comparing.........more

November 2019

“Regarding Food Labeling Standards” and “Food Labeling Standard Q&A” have been revised~Almond has been added to the list of recommended allergens labeling, Labeling of foods derived from genome editing technology, etc.~

On September 19th, 2019, the Consumers Affairs Agency announced the amendment of “Regarding Food Labeling Standards” and “Food Labeling Standard Q&A”. .........more

October 2019

On Beer Labelling

Recently, Craft beer has been gaining more popularity. Although it might seem more expensive compared to the major manufacturers’ products, but still lots people are rather attracted to craft breweries products. I would like to feature the labeling standards for beer while mentioning the definition of craft beer and pointing out its differences from the local beer..........more

October 2019

Regarding the notifications of the Manufacturer Identification Codes~In case you need to switch, it is recommended to submit a notification by the end of this year~

The Consumer Affairs Agency (CAA) released the notice “Dissemination of information regarding the operation of Manufacturer Identification Codes”, and called for manufacturers or related business operators to submit a notification in the case of need of Manufacturer Identification Codes.........more

September 2019

"Almond" is added to the list of foods recommended to use allergens labeling and "walnut" is changed from recommended to mandatory.

On July 5, 2019, at the Cabinet Office Consumer Commission Food Labeling Section Meeting, the Consumer Affairs Agency (CAA) announced that "Almond has been added to the list of foods recommended to use allergen labeling" and "Walnut has been designated as a food.........more

August 2019

The comparison of standard values for nutrient claims between Japan, the U.S. and EU

You will often come across various nutrients-related catchphrases such as "Low Calorie" or, "Low Cholesterol" on food packages wherever you are in the world. Each country sets its own standard values as well as Japan does regarding nutrient content claims..........more

August 2019

The Labeling system of foods derived from genome editing technology~The Consumer Affairs Agency (CAA) acknowledged the difficulty of making it a mandatory labeling.~

On June 20, 2019, at the Food Labeling Section Meeting of the Cabinet Office Food Safety Commission, CAA acknowledged the difficulty of mandatory labeling for foods derived from genome editing technology . I would like to summarize the outline based on CAA’s materials "The Labeling system of the food.........more

July 2019

About the food additives labeling system in Japan and other foreign countries (comparative summary)

A summary of the food additives labeling systems in foreign countries was shared in the materials of The First Discussion on the Food Additives Labeling System" held on April 18, 2019. As the number of business operators exporting food products that were manufactured in Japan is..........more

July 2019

Discussions on the labeling system for food additives have started

On April 18, 2019, the Consumer Affairs Agency (CAA) held "The First Discussion on the Food Additives Labeling System." Regarding the food labeling system in Japan, amendments were made (in the past) such as: The Food Labeling Standard (enforced in April 2015 (the transition period for processed foods is until March 31, 2020))".........more

June 2019

About "gluten-free"

Processed foods using rice flour, etc. and labeled as "gluten-free" are being imported these years. Similarly, other products besides rice flour also have such labeling. The standards for the labeling of mentions like "gluten-free" in western countries are different from the ones applied for the allergen labeling system in Japan (which is based on the Food Labeling Standard).........more

June 2019

The "guidelines on the provision of the countries of origin of ingredients in the "ingredient-name-labelled" (prefix labeling)" has been published

On March 29, 2019, the Consumers Affairs Agency (CAA) published the "guidelines on the provision of the countries of origin of ingredients in the "ingredient-name-labelled" (prefix labeling, hereafter referred as "ingredient-name-labelled" only)".........more

May 2019

About entities/companies in charge of the nutrition facts labeling~from the 6th amendment of the Food Labeling Standards Q&A~

The Food Labeling Standards Q&A was amended for the 6th time on March 1, 2019. As a new category of labeling examples, "entity/company in charge of the nutrition facts labeling" was added this time. Therefore, we would like to feature it here.........more

April 2019

The transition period to the new Food Labeling Standards is coming to the end

Almost 4 years have passed since the implementation of the Food Labeling Standards in April 2015, and we can see more and more products with labeling following the Food Labeling Standards on the shelves. The transition period during which the labeling of processed food.........more

April 2019

Discussions on the partial revision of the labelling system for genetically modified food

As of February 2019, discussions regarding "a partial revision of the Food labelling standards (Labelling of genetically modified food)" are being held at the Food Labeling Section of the Cabinet’s Office of the Consumer Commission. .........more

March 2019

Differences and points to be kept in mind about the US and EU methods of labeling for "compound ingredients" as found in their respective food labeling standards

While more and more countries are recently lowering barriers of trade such as customs duties and adopting systems to introduce each other’s products (on their respective markets) .........more

February 2019

Food label news: Highlights of 2018 and upcoming schedules

While not as numerous as the year before (in 2017), there were still several and various announcements and changes that happened regarding food labeling this past year (in 2018). If you engage in food labeling activities, you must probably be busy in dealing with the new standards .........more

February 2019

Partial amendment of the Food Labeling Act ~Notifications of voluntary recall became mandatory~

On December 14, 2018, a law to partially amend of the Food Labeling Act (Act No. 97 of 2018) was published. According to this amendment, notifications to an administrative body became mandatory in case of voluntary recall of food products by a company..........more

January 2019

On Standards of use for ingredients/Labeling standards and what it implies for Import/Export

The food system in Japan is a lot different from the ones in other countries. For instance, items subject to allergen labeling are different. .........more

January 2019

Food allergen labeling and exportation to foreign countries

A while ago I got the opportunity to see a food product (made in Japan) bearing a mention "allergen free" and which was scheduled to be exported abroad. When I asked the manufacturer, they said they were using the labeling since .........more

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