Taishu soba of Tsushima Island also listed in Japan GI system

TOKYO, April 10 — Taishu Soba of Tsushima, off Nagasaki prefecture in southern Japan is among the latest three products that have been granted the nation’s geographical indications (GIs).

Japan has its own GI system to guarantee the protected status of food products. It aims to help farmers to differentiate their products from competing products and build a reputation of quality that is linked to the geographical origin.

Besides Taishu Soba, Matsudate Shibori Daikon in Akita prefecture and Yamagata Celery got GI registration, the agriculture ministry said on April 9.

The Japanese GI system now protects 62 products from 35 regions, according to the ministry.

The infringement of GI products represents a substantial loss of revenue for producers, while consumer confidence for these products labeled as high quality is undermined, experts say.

So, the Japanese government has stepped up efforts to ensure its GIs are protected under bilateral trade agreements.

Once a product gets GI status abroad, it would be illegal for someone outside that region to make and sell a similar product under that name.

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