Japan supermarket group touts trade opportunities

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Japanese retailers are looking at opportunities to penetrate the Philippine market and local firms should also take advantage of an upcoming window, an industry association said on Tuesday.

In a briefing, representatives of the New Supermarket Association of Japan (NSAJ) touted the mid-February staging of the 52nd Supermarket Trade Show in Japan next year where over 2,000 manufacturers are expected to show their wares at the Makuhari Messe convention center.

“We are promoting activities in other countries not just in Asia but also in the Philippines … [and particularly with regard to]the dissemination of food products here, we’d like to further explore the possibilities in the Philippines,” NSAJ exhibition manager Tetsuichiro Tomiharo told reporters via an interpreter.

“We’ve got some of our larger companies [in the Philippines already]like Kikkoman, Meiji and Nissin, so we’d like to further explore what possibilities we have of further diversifying our Japanese products here in the Philippine market,” he added.


Tomiharo said two Filipino firms were already confirmed as exhibitors in the trade show while 10 others would be attending as participants.

The association is also looking forward to discussions on food safety standards, specifically the use of additives, given Japan’s “very strict” standards.

“We’d like to also discuss matters regarding the importation of Philippine-made food products especially into our retail industry because in Japan we have regulations, some of which are pretty strict,” he said.

“Not in recent memory that [I remember] any particular issue regarding food product importation in the Philippines,” Tomihoro said.

“It’s just that in Japan, we have strict food-related standards and we also try to be at par with the international food safety standards especially now that we are going global and we are going to receive more products from overseas.”

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