Unification of Japan’s Food Labeling Laws

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On April 5, 2013, Japan’s Cabinet Office approved a new food labeling bill which is being raised in the National Diet (Diet) at this year’s session. If the bill (to be known as the Food Labeling Act once adopted by the Diet) clears the Diet this year, Japanese food labeling regulations will be unified under one set of laws by 2015.

Currently, food labeling requirements are determined primarily by the Food Sanitation Act, but are also regulated by the Act on Standardization and Proper Quality Labeling of Agricultural and Forestry Products (the “JAS Act”) and the Health Promotion Act. As a result, labeling regulations of the three Acts overlap, and, depending on the product, some labels may require compliance with two or more different Acts.

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