Japan to Allow Injunctions to Block Smuggling of Wagyu Genes

Politics Society Lifestyle Economy

Tokyo, Jan. 20 (Jiji Press)--A Japanese agriculture ministry panel of experts in an interim report Monday proposed allowing injunctions to be sought to block the smuggling and other improper trading of genetic resources of "wagyu" premium Japanese beef cattle, such as fertilized eggs and semen.

Based on the report, the ministry will submit a related bill to the regular session of the Diet, Japan's parliament, that started the same day, aiming to protect wagyu as intellectual property. Wagyu beef is highly popular both in and outside Japan.

The report said that if genetic resources of wagyu are resold or transferred to third parties in violation of contracts with wagyu farmers, injunctions can be sought to block the attempts. Such injunctions can also be requested for the trading of calves born from improperly acquired genetic resources.

The ministry will consider whether to allow injunctions against the trading of progenies of such calves.

Currently, Japan has no legislation to directly control the smuggling of genetic resources. Attempts to breed wagyu overseas using smuggled genetic resources will hurt wagyu exports by Japanese farmers.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press