Japan Focus: Genetically modified crops data, Ajinomoto growth plans, plant-based reluctance and more feature in our round-up

By Pearly Neo

- Last updated on GMT

Genetically modified crops data, Ajinomoto growth plans, plant-based reluctance and more feature in this edition of Japan Focus. © Getty Images
Genetically modified crops data, Ajinomoto growth plans, plant-based reluctance and more feature in this edition of Japan Focus. © Getty Images

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Genetically modified crops data, Ajinomoto growth plans, plant-based reluctance and more feature in this edition of Japan Focus.

Japan GM food: New data ‘further supports’ the case for genetically modified ingredients – government study

The Japanese government has found no evidence of genetically modified (GM) food ingredient crops posing any risk to surrounding biodiversity in its latest nation-wide study, seemingly further supporting the case for GM foods to be granted wider berth in the local food supply.

Japan has been conducting studies on GM food crops including soybeans and rapeseed since 2006, and the latest 2020/2021 report has concluded that the cultivation of these GM crops poses no risk to local biodiversity.

“We have been studying GM crop cultivation sites and collecting samples of these crops to compare with non-GM crops of the same species growing within five kilometres of the sites [in order to] investigate whether any crossing of genetic material took place,”​ the Japanese Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF) said via a formal statement.

Amino acid adaptations: Ajinomoto targets alternative proteins and frozen foods growth after leadership shake-up

Japanese food giant Ajinomoto has highlighted alternative proteins and frozen foods as two of the firm’s key growth strategies, in its first public report issued since its new leadership took over office earlier this year.

Ajinomoto elected its new President and CEO Taro Fujie into office in January this year, and recently released its first annual report under his leadership, renamed from its traditional ‘integrated report’ into the ‘ASV Report’, with ASV representing the firm’s sustainability and growth strategy ‘The Ajinomoto Group Creating Shared Value’.

Resistance and reticence: Japanese reluctant to ride plant-based protein wave – CEO

Global and regional plant-based protein brands should be prepared to face a reticent crowd should they plan to enter Japan at this juncture, according to the CEO and co-founder of alternative egg firm UMAMI United, Hiroto Yamazaki.

Based on his and his team’s experience, the Japanese market is “far behind” in adopting plant-based proteins and it is difficult to advocate to them.

Towards a green food system: Japan urges food industry cooperation after sluggish sustainability support

The Japanese government has called on local food businesses and producers to co-operate more closely with local authorities and basic regional sustainability plans so the national Green Food System Strategy will hit its 2030 and 2050 targets.The Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF) has notified certain food industry players that are engaged in business activities ‘subject to the national policies and systems based on the Green Food System Act’​, requesting them to ‘apply for certification of their plans to implement or establish [new initiatives] based on this law’​.

Ageing support: Soy peptide supplementation may benefit motor, memory function in the elderly - Japanese RCT

Soy peptide supplementation may help to improve both motor and memory function in community-dwelling older adults, alongside an exercise regimen, a Japanese study has found.

At 29%, Japan’s population has the highest percentage of people aged above 65 globally. The country’s Ministry of Health, Labour, and Welfare estimate that the rate of ageing is expected to increase until 2042, even if the population declines, with those aged 65 and older reaching 38.4% of the total population by 2065.

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