On June 14, 2012, the Government of Japan (GOJ) announced the "Establishment of Standards for the Use of Recycled Paper."
THIS REPORT CONTAINS ASSESSMENTS OF COMMODITY AND TRADE ISSUES MADE BY
USDA STAFF AND NOT NECESSARILY STATEMENTS OF OFFICIAL U.S. GOVERNMENT
GAIN Report Number: JA2016
Japan Establishes new Standards for the Use of Recycled
On June 14, 2012, the Government of Japan (GOJ) announced the "Establishment of Standards for the
Use of Recycled Paper." The domestic comment period for these changes will close on June 28, 2012.
After the domestic comment period closes, the Ministry of Health, Labor, and Welfare (MHLW) will
then notify these proposed changes to the WTO/SPS committee, which will then provide another
opportunity for submission of public comments on this subject.
On June 14, 2012, the GOJ held a meeting for embassies to announce "Establishment of Standards for
the Use of Recycled Paper." The comment period for these proposed changes ends June 28, 2012. Any
comments should be submitted to the MHLW as soon as possible.
MHLW will also notify these proposed changes to the WTO/SPS committee, which will provide
another chance for public comments to be submitted on this subject. The actual WTO/SPS notifications
can be found at the site below. http://www.wto.org/english/tratop_e/sps_e/work_and_doc_e.htm
After the WTO comment period closes, a final report will be released based on the conclusions reached
by a session of the Pharmaceutical Affairs and Food Sanitation Council slated to be held at a later date.
This report will constitute as a final decision.
Comments to GOJ can be made either in Japanese or English and can be sent directly to the point of
Saki OHSATO, Ms.
Standards and Evaluation Division,
Department of Food Safety,
Pharmaceutical and Food Safety Bureau,
Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare
1-2-2, Chiyoda-ku, Kasumigaseki, Tokyo, 100-8916
Tel: 03-5253-1111, ext. 4284
Post suggests that the U.S. Embassy - Tokyo also be copied on any comments at firstname.lastname@example.org so
these can be included as part of the official U.S. Government comments to the WTO.
Containers and packaging items for food are subject to the Specifications and Standards for Food, Food
Additives, Etc. (Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare Notification No. 370, 1959).
In recent years, recovered paper has often been recycled as cardboard boxes or paperboards for foods.
However, the Food Sanitation Act does not provide any regulation for the use of recycled paper.
Findings show that chemical substances in recycled paper which are derived from printing inks of
recovered paper can leak in large quantities. In addition, if recycled paper used as food packaging
comes into direct contact with watery or oily food, or is heated with food at a high temperature, its
composite itself will be destroyed, which can help accelerate the migration of substances remaining in
the recycled paper on to the food.
The Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare has decided to establish standards for the use of recycled
paper for the purposes of food safety.
Outline of new standards
Recycled paper shall not be used for paper-made utensils, containers, or packaging items that are
intended to be used in a manner that the water or oil content of them increases greatly, or in a manner
that they are heated with foods by a microwave oven or conventional oven for a long time.
Examples of the products that are intended for the above-mentioned uses are paper coffer filters, oil
filters, empty tea packs, paper baking molds, cooking papers, and baking paper boards.