Japan

Mandatory Organic Standards and Labels

In Japan, organic food production is regulated by the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF) through the Japanese Agricultural Standard (JAS) system, which covers general and specific standards for food, non-alcoholic beverages and forestry products. Specific JAS organic standards cover plants, processed foods, organic feeds and organic livestock products. The standards were introduced in 2005 and updated in 2012 (organic feeds and organic livestock) and 2017 (organic plants and organic processed foods).

The Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF) acts as the competent authority, the Food and Agriculture Materials Inspection Centre (FAMIC) is responsible for accreditation and auditing of certification bodies in Japan.

The JAS logo is a national mandatory organic logo that must be used on all organic products, whether produced in Japan or imported.

JAS Organic Standards, Technical Criteria and Inspection Methods
The Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF) provides links to the JAS Organic Standards, JAS Technical Criteria and Inspection Methods. The JAS Organic Standards cover requirements for organic plants, organic processed foods, organic feeds and organic livestock products. The JAS Technical Criteria cover certification requirements for organic plants, processed foods and feeds, livestock products, re-packers and importers of organic plants and feeds. The Inspections Methods set out the requirements for inspection of organic plant production, processed foods, feeds and livestock products.
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Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries
The Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF) provides links to information on the Organic JAS System, lists of certification bodies and importers, a list of countries with organic equivalency and information on countries with equivalency agreements: USA, Canada and EU.
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Food and Agriculture Materials Inspection Centre (FAMIC)
Website of the Food and Agriculture Materials Inspection Centre (FAMIC) providing details of all FAMIC activities.
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FAMIC: General information
Summary of the role and function of FAMIC, including the accreditation of certifying bodies inspecting to the JAS organic standards.
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Voluntary Organic Standards and Labels

There are no private organisations and associations with own organic standards.

Control Bodies

Private certification bodies are responsible for the inspection, verification and certification of organic operators according to the national standards. They are accredited and audited by the Food and Agricultural Materials Inspection Centre (FAMIC).

MAFF: List of certification bodies in Japan
List of registered Japanese Organic Certification Bodies provided by the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF).
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MAFF: List of certification bodies outside Japan
List of registered Certification Bodies outside Japan provided by the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF).
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Import Requirements

Foreign operators wishing to export organic products to Japan must be compliant with the JAS standard and be certified by a Japanese registered certification body. Import of livestock products are not permitted.

Japan has equivalency agreements with USA, Argentina, Australia, Canada, Switzerland, New Zealand and member states of the European Union. Eligible organic products from these countries are permitted to be imported to Japan and must be labelled with the JAS Organic Logo. Organic standards in these countries are considered to be equivalent with the JAS Organic Standards. Export certificates issued by relevant national government authorities must accompany consignments of the imported products.

MAFF: List of countries with organic equivalency arrangements
List of countries whose Organic Certification System is regarded as equivalent to the JAS Organic System provided by the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF).
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MAFF: Import requirements for imports from USA
Questions and answers about exportation and importation under organic equivalency arrangement between U.S. and Japan provided by the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF).
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MAFF: Import requirements for imports from Canada
Questions and answers about exportation and importation under organic equivalency recognition between Canada and Japan provided by the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF).
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MAFF: Information on equivalency agreement with EU
Press release on equivalency agreement with EU provided by the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF).
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MAFF: List of recognised control bodies
List of approved certification bodies operating outside Japan provided by the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF).
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MAFF: List of certified importers
List of certified importers of organic products provided by the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF).
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Further Information

Further information on organic agriculture in Japan.

MAFF: Promotion of organic agriculture
Short document providing background information on the promotion of organic agriculture in Japan, detailing the purposes, current status and promotion activities under the Japanese Act of Promotion of Organic Agriculture (Act 112 of 2006).
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Global Organic Trade Guide: Japan
Website of the American Organic Trade Association (OTA) providing information on international organic trade. Although designed for U.S. exporters, some of the provided information might also be interesting for exporters from other countries.
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USDA: GAIN Report for Japan – Japanese Organic Market
The report gives a market overview and provides information on certification and import requirements as well as useful background information. It is provided by the Global Agricultural Information Network (GAIN) of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) (Update 2017).
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USDA: GAIN Report for Japan - Exporter Guide
The report covers summary information on the Japanese market and detailed guidance for exporters to Japan with business tips, sector structure, import prospects and key contacts. It is provided by the Global Agricultural Information Network (GAIN) of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) (Update 2017).
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