Japan Enacts Bill to Amend Seedling Law
Tokyo, Dec. 2 (Jiji Press)--The Diet, Japan's parliament, enacted on Wednesday a bill to prevent brand fruits and other newly developed plant varieties from being taken abroad.
The bill to revise the plant variety protection and seed law was approved at a plenary meeting of the House of Councillors, the upper chamber of the Diet. It cleared the House of Representatives, the lower chamber, in November.
Individuals who illegally take abroad seeds and saplings will get prison sentences of up to 10 years or a fine of up to 10 million yen.
The revised law will take effect, except for some parts, on April 1 next year.
As luxury grape saplings and other plants were found to have been taken to foreign countries such as South Korea and China without permission and Japanese farmers suffered economic damage, Japan decided to beef up, through the law revision, protection against newly developed plant varieties by having developers limit the cultivation of such plants to Japan or a particular prefecture in the country.
[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]