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Politics

Tokyo to introduce certification system for Japanese food

TOKYO -- The Japanese government will create a certification system for genuine Japanese food items in fiscal 2016. The move is aimed at protecting the brand image of Japanese foods and expanding the exports of the food.

     The certification system targets Japanese food products sold at supermarkets overseas, such as Japanese brand beef, soy sauce and miso bean paste.

     More and more cheap counterfeit Japanese food products of inferior taste and quality are sold overseas, fueled by the growing popularity of Japanese food. Some of them bear origins and trademarks without permission. Others mimic designs of original Japanese products.

     The government will refer to the Mediterranean food authorization system adopted in France, Italy and Spain.

     The system is operated by the Mediterranean Diet Foundation based in Barcelona, Spain. The foundation sets standards for raw materials, ingredients and cooking procedures appropriate for Mediterranean food and certifies food items that meet the standards. A special logo is attached to certified food products to separate them from fake products.

     The Japanese government is considering designating the Japan External Trade Organization as an accreditation body. It will also set up a committee of major food companies and restaurants to establish accreditation criteria this autumn.

     Certified products will carry a special logo. Japanese food items produced overseas are also subject to certification if they meet the criteria.

(Nikkei)

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