Japan has one of the most developed biotechnology sectors in the world, as evidenced by the high number of patents filed. Although the number of bio venture start-ups peaked in 2006, several foreign firms are now trying to enter the market. Moreover, the government is supporting the sector’s development and has passed several laws to assist it; it is being viewed as a national strategy. Find out more about Japan’s biotechnology sector below.
As Asia’s largest bioinformatics database is based in Japan, this is an important and competitive sector for the country. In particular, the application of bioinformatics to the pharmaceutical industry is the subject of significant R&D in Japan.
Japan is already the second largest pharmaceuticals market in the world. As a result of the country’s ageing population, there is a continuous increase in societal healthcare awareness. Japan has a number of internationally operating research companies that are actively looking for collaboration opportunities with new and innovative pharmaceutical companies.
Biotechnology in Agriculture
Japan is currently the world’s largest per-capita importer of biotechnology-produced foods and feeds. Japan imports some 15 million tonnes of corn and 3 million tonnes of soybeans per annum, about 75% of which is produced using biotechnology. Japan also imports huge amounts of processed foods containing biotechnology-produced oils, sugars, yeasts, enzymes and other ingredients.