About Food & Beverage

Japan’s status as a cultural superpower is perhaps best exemplified by the global popularity of Japanese cuisine. In addition to its international popularity, Japanese food also enjoys a reputation for promoting health and longevity, with its traditional emphasis on rice, fish and seasonal ingredients. In 2013, UNESCO added “washoku – traditional dietary cultures of the Japanese” to its Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.

It is important to note, however, that diets in Japan are evolving rapidly, shifting from traditionally rice-based meals to increasingly western-style meals featuring greater quantities of meat, eggs, milk, milk products and fats. Other notable shifts in consumption habits include an increasing preference for eating out or buying packaged food at the expense of home cooking and fresh foods, respectively.

According to the MAFF, it is necessary for Japan to secure a stable food supply based on increasing domestic agricultural production in combination with imports and stockpiles. To secure stable supply of major agricultural products dependent on imports from overseas, efforts are made to maintain/strengthen positive relations with export countries and collect related information.

The lastest MAFF Annual report states that imports of agricultural, forestry and fisheries products and foods are on an upward trend due to a rise in import prices owing to a weaker yen. Aside from price fluctuations, they are on a long-term declining trend. This is due to the decreasing total amount of calories supplied based on the total population. 

CHAFEA – The Food and Beverage Market Entry Handbook: Japan, 2019
MAFF, FY2019 Annual Report on Food, Agriculture and Rural Areas in Japan, 2020

Table of Contents

  • Overview
  • Food
  • Beverages
  • Expert Reports
  • Annual Report
  • Further Reading
  • Relevant Organisations and Trade Fairs
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