Tokyo, Sept. 24 (Jiji Press)–A Japanese agriculture ministry survey indicated Thursday that seeds and seedlings of many popular Japanese fruit and other plants may have been taken abroad for sale without permission.
Seeds and seedlings bearing the names of 36 plant varieties registered in Japan, including strawberry, sweet potato, citrus, apple, grape, pear and peach, are up for sale on Chinese and South Korean websites, the ministry said.
Among them are famous names such as the Benihoppe strawberry, developed by the central Japan prefecture of Shizuoka, the Beniharuka sweet potato, developed by a state-backed institute, and the Beniyutaka cherry, developed by the northeastern prefecture of Yamagata.
The ministry did not disclose the names of 13 of the 36 varieties because it could not gain consent to disclosure.
The ministry will seek the enactment of a bill to revise the plant variety protection and seed law, and take thorough steps to prevent seeds and seedlings of domestically developed agricultural products, including branded fruits, from being taken abroad without permission.