Revision of the Japanese Plant Variety Protection and Seed Act

A revision to the Japanese Plant Variety Protection and Seed Act was passed on 2 December 2020 and came into effect on 1 April 2021 and 1 April 2022, respectively. The scope of plant breeders' rights has been expanded significantly by protecting local producers from the impacts of unauthorized overseas cultivation and by improving the enforcement of plant breeders’ rights. The Revised Act affords greater protection to plant breeder right holders with respect to the exportation of plant materials of a registered variety used to propagate the variety, such as seeds or graft woods. A new system has also been introduced under which the production areas of registered varieties can be limited to designated areas within Japan. The Revised Act enables in particular plant breeders to designate where their varieties are permitted to be grown and exported when registering their species.