Japan to Create Body to Protect Crop Developer Rights

Politics

Tokyo, July 19 (Jiji Press)--Japan's agriculture ministry is planning to establish a new organization that will protect the rights of developers of new agricultural products in fiscal 2023, which ends in March 2024, officials said.

Japan has faced a series of cases in which people and groups working hard to develop new agricultural products, such as expensive Shine Muscat grapes, end up seeing their seeds and saplings smuggled overseas without permission.

The ministry is concerned that the spread of such bootleg products overseas will disrupt Japan's efforts to boost exports of agricultural products.

Around 300 kinds of new agricultural products were registered in Japan in fiscal 2020. Of them, almost all of the top-quality products found their way overseas illicitly, a senior ministry official said.

Developers of new crops are granted intellectual property rights similar to patents for inventions. They cannot make a fair return if their products are grown outside of Japan without permission.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press