Category Archives: Uncategorized

GM Zucchini Found in South Korea: How about Japan?

In April, a South Korean civil society organization informed us here in Japan, that unapproved genetically modified (GM) zucchini had been found to be distributed in South Korea and that the government had initiated a recall.

Unapproved GM zucchini had been grown and sold in South Korea for seven years beginning in 2015. According to reports, GM zucchini seeds approved in the United States were imported and sold by a Korean company.

Consumers Union of Japan sent a letter of inquiry to MAFF on 11 April, asking whether GM zucchini is checked at the time of importation in Japan, how much zucchini and seeds are imported from the US, and more.

In Japan, there was an incident in 2011 in which unapproved GM papayas were cultivated in Okinawa and Kagoshima prefectures. It appears that GM papaya seeds developed in Taiwan were somehow mixed with non-GM papaya seeds, but the details remain unknown. In Okinawa, 8,000 unapproved GM papayas grown at the time were cut down; farmers who grew the papayas without knowing they were GM papayas were unable to ship them that year, but received no income compensation from the government or other sources, only replacement seedlings were distributed.

Also in 2017, there was an uproar over the recall of seeds when it was discovered that unapproved GM petunias were being sold.

We note that GM crops can easily cross borders and enter the country. In addition to calling on governments to take strict border measures, monitoring activities by citizens in each country are also important. Do let us know if you have similar cases in your country!

90 + Support for our Consumer Peace Effort

We, consumers, demand a peaceful society that respects life and livelihood.

We oppose the possession of an enemy base attack capability (counterattack capability) and increased defense spending.

Please support us!

Over 90 consumer organsations and co-ops locally and all over Japan have signed on so far. Thank you for supporting our Consumer Peace Effort.

On December 16, 2022, the Kishida administration passed a cabinet decision to revise the “Three Security Documents,” including the National Security Strategy. The “Three Security Documents” clearly state the policy of possessing an “enemy base attack capability (counterattack capability)” and increasing defense expenditures to 43 trillion yen. The “enemy base attack capability” is the ability to strike within the territory of an adversary, which is prohibited by international law.

Consumer organizations work daily to solve various consumer problems and have different areas of expertise. However, our activities are possible only with the guarantee of a peaceful society. If the Peace Constitution were to be disregarded, consumer rights such as “the right to the basic needs of life,” “the right to safety,” and “the right to work and live in a healthy environment” could be shaken. In order to prevent such a situation from arising, we believe that it is significant for consumer groups to join together and raise their voices.

We have decided to ask consumer groups and other citizen groups to endorse the attached “Joint Statement.” The names of the organizations that endorse this statement will be listed in the joint statement. We ask for your cooperation in endorsing the statement. (Please see the bottom of this page for the Joint Statement and endorsing organizations.)

2022 We Decide What We Eat CUJ Videos

It has been a great year. It ended with two United Nation Conferences, about Climate Change, and Biological Diversity. Consumers Union of Japan is covering it. Thanks for supporting us.

This is how we made our voice heard, Tabekime Campaign, everyone participated, how we chose what to eat, not the corporations deciding. We, the consumers. We decide, what we want to eat. World Food Day is celebrated every year on 16 October, as designated by the United Nations.

How about it?

Videos from our Channel here:



Organic School Lunches, All Over Japan

On 26 October the National Organic School Lunch Forum will be held at Nakano Zero Main Hall in Nakano Ward, Tokyo

Food is deeply related to the environment. Expanding the use of food with a low environmental impact will lead to a society that is kind to living creatures and the planet, and where everyone can be happy. So, to help expand that system, we can give a boost to introducing organic food into school lunches.

And of course organic school lunches are delicious and very healthy for the children.
At this event, we will introduce examples from Japan and other countries that have introduced such organic school lunches, how they have changed and how they can be introduced.

This event is sure to be a useful reference for municipalities interested in organic school lunches and those considering adopting them.

Japan Resources – 186

Please click here for our latest English newsletter (pdf): JR 186

From the Editors: Out of the Fire, Into the Frying Pan?

Report on the GMO-Free Zone Movement in Japan

Japan’s Animal Welfare Scandal: The Consumer Response

Energy Shift

We Will Not be Complicit in War, and We Will Not Let it Happen”

In the News: Failed NPT Treaty

From the Editors:

Out of the Fire, Into the Frying Pan?

It seems this year we are dealing with a number of difficult issues at the same time, from the Covid Pandemic and Climate Change, to Russia’s war in Ukraina. Food security and energy supply issues are now in the news on a daily basis.

Japan’s PM Kishida meanwhile failed miserably in the United Nations to get a meaningful result at the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference, with profound disappointment especially in the City of Hiroshima, which he represents.

The Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) notes that 13,080 nuclear weapons still exist on the Earth, with the U.S. and Russian nuclear stockpiles together constituting approximately 90 percent of the total. (There used to be over 70,000 back during the Cold War, ed.)

We ask you to stay updated with CUJ’s activities and news on our English website, as well as on our English Twitter account: