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Japan battles Chinese and Korean strawberry and whisky copycats

Government and industry set stricter regulations to protect premium brands

From strawberries to whisky, Japan is eager to protect the premium image of its produce. (Source photos by Kei Higuchi and courtesy of Fukuoka Prefecture)

TOKYO -- The Japanese government and Japanese companies are battling copycats in China and South Korea, taking steps to protect the integrity of "made in Japan" products, from strawberries to whisky.

The government, led by Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga, the son of a strawberry farmer from Akita Prefecture in northern Japan, has revised the Plant Variety Protection and Seed Act. The legislation, which was partially enforced in early April, with some of the other regulations set to be effective next year, aims to better safeguard intellectual property pertaining to the development of new seeds.

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