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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

January 2021

Regarding the labeling of "multivitamins" and "rich in vitamins" new

Statistics Bureau of Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications have announced in the "Household economy survey" that monthly expenditure in September of two-or-more-person households on online shopping was JPY 15, 981, a 2.6% increase compared to the same period of the previous year. Speaking of last September, there was a surge in demand before the consumption tax hike..........more

January 2021

Regarding "Revision of food labeling system for brown rice and milled rice (draft)" along with the review of agricultural product inspection standards new

The food labeling system for brown rice and milled rice is expected to be revised. Public comments on the subject were solicited from October 14th to November 15th, 2020. It was also deliberated by the Consumer Commission Food Labeling Section Meeting on October 27th and November 18th..........more

December 2020

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

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~

A 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

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