Nine months after starting the process for regulatory approval of cultivated meat, Japan has announced its plans to develop the industry, bringing a new focus to the world of cell agriculture.

Prime Minister Fumio Kishida told the House of Representatives’ Budget Committee, “Foodtech, including cellular foods, is an important technology from the perspective of realizing a sustainable food supply. We have to support efforts that contribute to solving the world’s food problems.”

Japan’s Minister of Health, Labor, and Welfare, Katsunobu Kato, chimed in with some additional thoughts, promising to pay close attention to research and development, scientific findings on safety, and international trends.

Japan still needs to approve a regulatory framework for cultivated meat, but that’s not stopping the country from closely monitoring the rest of the world. In fact, shortly after the PM’s speech, Japanese news network Tokyo Broadcasting System Television featured a taste test of GOOD MEAT’s cultivated chicken in Singapore This doesn’t just suggest that the country is closely monitoring industry developments but also that it is eager to learn from countries that have already move forward with the commercial sale of cultivated meat. 

Japan Jumps on the Alt-Protein Bandwagon

Japan is the latest country in Asia and beyond to pay closer attention to alternative protein to reduce the environmental footprint of food production. Last year, South Korea included cultivated meat in its National Plan, while in February, 28 industry stakeholders signed a memo of understanding to advance technological developments.

In a speech last year, President Xi said that China should diversify protein sources to include cultivated, fermentation-based and plant-based protein to achieve sustainable development and food security. Meanwhile, Taiwan recently passed legislation encouraging low-carbon diets focusing on plant-based foods. 

As governments and companies face mounting pressure to reduce their carbon footprint, alternative protein sources such as cultivated meat, fermentation-based protein, and plant-based protein are increasingly emerging as critical solutions to a more sustainable protein supply chain.


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