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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

September 2021

New labeling system of countries of origin of ingredients (Japan)~Six months until end of transitional measures period~ new

"Fair Competition Code concerning labeling of dressings", "Fair Competition Code concerning labeling of hams and sausages", "Fair Competition Code concerning labeling of fermented milk.........more

September 2021

Singapore inviting comments on amendments to food regulations to delete standards of identity new

On June 21, 2021, the Singapore Food Agency (SFA) announced that it is soliciting comments from the food industry and stakeholders to comment on the revision to remove the individual food.........more

August 2021

Regarding the consideration of the safety of additives as nanomaterials in EU countries (See titanium dioxide for the case study)

So-called nanotechnology, which utilizes materials consisted of tiny particles on the nano level, is attracting attention in the food field in hope of improvement of food texture/solubility.........more

August 2021

Practical key points for compliance checking of food ingredients and food labels of export foods

In this column, I would like to summarize the practical points on how to deal with the differences among the "food labeling standards" of each country, which need to be checked when exporting food products from Japan to overseas..........more

July 2021

Regarding revision of labeling system related to brown rice and milled rice (Japan)

On March 17, 2021, the Cabinet Office Ordinance on the Partial Revision of Food Labeling Standards was promulgated. The content of this revision is related to the labeling system of brown rice and milled rice. I would like to take up this revision, which came into effect on July 1, 2021..........more

July 2021

Regarding the National Bioengineered Food Disclosure Standard (USDA)
The Difference from Japan's GMO labeling system and points to note when exporting

The implementation date of the National Bioengineered Food Disclosure Standard is January 2020 and it is about five months away until January 2022 when this is becoming mandatory.........more

June 2021

About the guidelines of additive labeling for use of "non-use" (Japan)

The 1st "discussion about the guidelines of additive labeling for use of "non-use" was held on March 4, 2021. The following points will be discussed using actual labeling as examples as well as identifying and classifying actual situations of additive labeling for use of "non-use".........more

June 2021

Revised Food Labeling Act (food recall system) to be enforced soon (Japan)

The "Law to partially amend the Food Labeling Act" promulgated on December 14, 2018, will come into effect on June 1, 2021. The main points of the amendment are as follows. summary of the revision In the case of voluntary recalls, otification to the administration agency.........more

May 2021

Updates on the Food labelling regulations current status of each country

Since our previous article on the latest trends of Foods and Food labelling regulations in 2019, there has been a sudden big change to the market due to the global health circumstances accruing in view of the COVID-19. Consequently, a considerable raise of health products and Food supplements was.........more

April 2021

Moving toward mandatory labeling for walnut (Japan)

As a new move by the Consumer Affairs Agency (CAA) regarding allergen labeling, experts exchanged views on the mandatory labeling of walnut at The 1st Advisors' Meeting on Food Allergen (February 15, 2021). Therefore, I would like to look back at the process of making walnut mandatory by.........more

April 2021

Health food labeling and its points to confirm~Based on Demand for Improvement and Alert against the Labeling on Prevention of Covid-19 (Japan)~

On February 19, 2021, the Consumer Affairs Agency (CAA) announced "Demand for improvement regarding labeling of products, etc. that claim a preventive effect against Covid-19, and an alert.........more

March 2021

Regarding Foods for special dietary uses (Japan)

"Regarding permission for labeling of Foods for special dietary uses (hereinafter referred to as "FOSDU")" was partially revised on November 17, 2020. With this revision, procedures of written-document submission can now be carried out online (via e-mail) for what is possible instead of in writing..........more

March 2021

Discussion on the system for Foods for Specified Health Uses (Claims of disease risk reduction) started in Japan

This month, I would like to take up the news about the review of the system for Foods for Specified Health Uses (Hereinafter, "FOSHU"). The first and second "Discussion on the system for".........more

February 2021

Food label news: Highlights of 2020 and upcoming schedules (Japan)

I first summarized the news about food labeling of last year and its future schedules. Needless to say, there were a lot of issues concerning the COVID-19 infection last year, but here I would like to take the opportunity to reconfirm the topics related to food labeling..........more

January 2021

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

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

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

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

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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