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Business trends

The rise of 'made-in-Japan' Chinese herbal remedies

Drugmakers shift from reliance on imported ingredients as demand increases

Farmers in Kyushu grow bupleurum, a yellow flower used to produce several traditional Chinese remedies.

TOKYO -- With the market for traditional Chinese herbal medicines going from strength to strength, Japanese makers of the remedies are increasingly starting to source raw ingredients at home, rather than importing them from China. 

An hour and a half by car from Kagoshima Airport in Kyushu, the southernmost of Japan's four main islands, lies a great swathe of grass that turns bright yellow in September as the field's crop comes into bloom. Bupleurum, as the plant is known, is used in remedies for everything from the common cold to symptoms of dementia.

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