In 2015, 11.8 million tons of corn and 2.33 million tons of soy were imported from the United States, and over 90 percent of it was believed to be genetically modified, according to the agriculture ministry.
Currently, eight genetically modified crops are subject to the labeling requirement in Japan. By comparison, the European Union mandates labeling in principle of all food products containing genetically modified organisms.
In Japan, the government mandates labeling if the three largest ingredients of a food product by weight contain substances from genetically modified crops and account for 5 percent or more of all ingredients.
However, food product manufacturers are reluctant, saying the cost would be prohibitive, as they would have to throw away or change many of products’ packaging.
But they also are willing to negotiate to meet the needs of consumers, an official at a food product organization said.