Japan Takes Giant Leap Towards Cultivated Meat Revolution: Key Stakeholders Gather to Discuss Japan PM Kishida’s Vision for Made in Japan “Wagyu-like” Meat

In February 2023, responding to Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida’s goal to develop the domestic cultivated food industry, the Japan Association for Cellular Agriculture (JACA) hosted the inaugural meeting in Tokyo. The JACA is a non-profit research institute aiming to accelerate the progress of cultivated meat and other cellular agriculture products in Japan. This meeting marked the beginning of a new phase of innovation that could revolutionize the food industry.

At its recent summit, JACA brought together 150 stakeholders from the Japanese Parliament, government officials, industry associations, member companies, academia, and the media to find consensus on necessary measures surrounding food safety requirements for cultivated food, protecting the farmers’ rights of branded-animal cells such as “Wagyu”, how to use the term “Wagyu” in cellular agriculture, food labeling requirements and their definition of “Made in Japan” cultivated products, guidelines for transparent consumer communication and more.

Congratulatory speeches and a panel discussion

At the event, Japanese food majors such as NH Foods Ltd. and Ajinomoto Co., Inc. joined forces with the representatives from the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries and the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry to congratulate JACA.

Executive Director Norihiro Nakayama of the Japan’s Parliamentary Group for Cellular Agriculture drove home the point that Japan should leverage its advancements in food and regenerative medicine to set a precedent in the cellular agriculture field.

Megumi Avigail Yoshitomi, JACA’s Representative Director, emphasized the importance of doing just that. Subsequently, Maruha Nichiro Corporation led a riveting panel discussion.

On “Mock BBQ” of cultivated meat

At Jaca’s “Mock BBQ,” guests had the unique opportunity to experience the tantalizing aroma of cutting-edge cultivated meats like 3D bio-printed cultivated marbled beef from the Consortium for Future Innovation by Cultured Meat, cultivated chicken from Diverse Farm, and cultivated beef from Tokyo Women’s Medical University-Waseda University Joint Institution for Advanced Biomedical Sciences. It was an unforgettable event!

At the JACA event, the utmost priority was given to the safety of consumers, which is why no tasting opportunities were provided – despite Japanese regulations being unclear in this regard. Thus, the industry sent a strong message about their commitment to safety.

About Japan Association for Cellular Agriculture (JACA)

JACA is dedicated to creating comprehensive policy recommendations for cultivated food to help tackle Japan’s critical issues with food security and sustainability. Our work bridges the gap between farmers, consumers, and policy makers to ensure a thriving, sustainable food system for the nation and its people.

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