Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry
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【METI Mobile】Bringing Japanese Caviar to the World

Photo: a spoonful of Japanese caviar

The embargo on Japanese caviar exports was lifted in September 2015, through joint efforts by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) and the Fisheries Agency (FAJ) to introduce procedures complying with international guidelines. If caviar meets the proper criteria, METI will begin issuing export permits for products of sturgeon aquaculture from areas such as Miyazaki in southern Japan.

Protecting endangered sturgeon

Due to overfishing, valuable caviar-producing sturgeon are considered a critically endangered species, and the international trade of caviar is strictly controlled under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). Exports of caviar are allowed only when a national government (1) authorizes a business’s aquaculture facility, and (2) confirms the business trades in caviar exclusively from sturgeon farmed at their facility. As the Japanese caviar industry has developed, METI, which is the designated CITES Management Authority of Japan, has partnered with FAJ to develop a process to facilitate compliant caviar exports.

METI’s role in trade

Beyond caviar, METI controls permissions for a wide range of imports and exports. For example, for goods or technologies with the potential for military application, METI imposes strict safeguards which include closely vetting businesses and requiring exporters in Japan to apply for export licenses.

Japanese caviar set for take-off?

Ahead of the start of international exports, Japanese caviar is already taking to the air! From March, one of Japan’s major airlines added Miyazaki caviar for the first time to their First Class menu.

Last updated: 2016-05-18
Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry
1-3-1 Kasumigaseki, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 100-8901, Japan Tel: +81-(0)3-3501-1511
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