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Newsletter

We issue monthly e-newsletters, which keep you up to date with the latest developments surrounding food labeling 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.

Note: The main features of each newsletter can be accessed from this page but if you are interested in receiving the original "Label bank Communication" and want to make sure to not miss any issue, please sign up by filling in the form provided here and click "SEND".

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Past issues

July 2019

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

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 startednew

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

Decmber 2018

What are labeling claims?

Speaking of labeling claims in the food labeling standard, many people may think of Nutrient Function Claims ("Rich in XXX", "Contain nutrients", etc.), but in a broad sense, the purpose is to prevent misleading representations of various kinds claims. Therefore, we would like to summarize them in this mini-column. .........more

Decmber 2018

About "the points to be kept in mind regarding the labeling methods and content of fine prints"

While this is not the latest news (it was revealed a few months ago), the Consumer Affairs Agency (CAA) announced its “points to be kept in mind regarding the labeling methods and content of fine print” (hereinafter referred to as “the points of attention”) in June 2018; we would like to tackle this topic this month. .........more

November 2018

Discussions about the "overall situation of food labeling" have started

On August 30, 2018, discussions about the "overall situation of food labeling" started at the food labeling committee of the Cabinet Office's Consumer Commission. Therefore, we would like to feature it in this month's entry. .........more

October 2018

"Liquid infant formula" was added to food for special dietary use.

On August 8, 2018, the regulation "About license of labeling for food for special dietary use" (March 31, 2017 No. 188) was partly amended and "liquid infant formula" was added to the list of foods for special dietary use. .........more

September 2018

'About the flexible operation of food labeling following the 2018 floods in Japan'

On July 13, 2018, the Consumer Affairs Agency (CAA) notified relevant organizations that the food labeling standard would be operated flexibly in the disaster affected areas subject to the Disaster Relief Act (under a joint statement with the Ministry of Agriculture, .........more

August 2018

The amended Food Sanitation Act was published

On June 13, 2018, a law to amend parts of the Food Sanitation Act was published. It has attracted much attention as: - sanitation management by HACCP became mandatory for all food business operators (including restaurants).........more

July 2018

"The guideline for nutrition labeling based on the food labeling standard, 2nd edition" was published

On May 11, 2018, the Consumer Affairs Agency (CAA) published "the 2nd edition for the guidelines for nutrition labeling based on the food labeling standard." The structure was significantly altered from the 1st edition, which was published at the same time as the new food labeling standard..........more

June 2018

Labeling for available carbohydrates and sugars

Available carbohydrates and sugars were added as a part of the widening of target functional ingredients/substances on March 28th. In regards to this, we will review the labeling system for available carbohydrates and sugars in Japan..........more

June 2018

The "Guidelines on notification of foods with function claims" were amended

The Consumer Affairs Agency (CAA) partly amended the “guidelines on notification of foods with function claims” (hereinafter referred to as the “guidelines”) and “Q&A about foods with function claims.” on March 28, 2018. .........more

May 2018

Discussions on the labeling system for genetically modified food 5~"Non-GM" labeling requirements and mentions showing that foods were treated under proper identity preserved handling~

Once more, we would like to feature the labeling system for genetically modified foods in our monthly publication. The 10th "discussion on the labeling system for genetically modified food" was held on March 14, 2018. .........more

April 2018

Discussions on the labeling system for genetically modified food 4~Currently discussed major points of amendment and summary of the current system~

The 8th and 9th “discussions on the labeling system for genetically modified food” (Consumer Affairs Agency) were held respectively on January 31, 2018 and February 16, 2018. The preliminary draft of the “report on the discussion on the labeling system for genetically modified food .........more

March 2018

Discussions on the labeling system for genetically modified food 3~The guidelines regarding how to label genetically modified food were discussed~

The 6th “discussion on the labeling system for genetically modified food” was held on November 17, 2017 and the 7th one was held on December 18, 2017. Discussions regarding “The methods of labeling genetically modified food” (point of debate 3 and 4, as follows) are still going on, .........more

February 2018

Food label news: Highlights of 2017 and upcoming schedules

This year marks the 10th anniversary of the Label bank Newsletter thanks to your support. We have continued publishing this newsletters modestly throughout the years, but it feels that time flies by so quickly. We truly hope you will continue reading our publications this year as well. .........more

January 2018

About the new Country of Origin Labeling system for ingredients and "actions causing substantial changes"

The Food Labeling Standard Q&A was amended on September 1, 2017, and more detailed information about the "produced domestically" mention for the country of origin labeling (hereafter COOL) is written in it. This time we will try to summarize all aspects of the .........more

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