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The biotechnology sector in Japan

Japan biotechnologies

With a tradition of fermentation and a strong dependence on imports of food, oil and industrial feedstock, Japan became interested very early on in the potential that biotechnology offered. As early as the 1970s, the Japanese Ministry of International Trade and Industry stated its intent to place the development of life sciences and biotechnology at the forefront of its technical progress. In 1989, sales of biotech products in Japan totaled nearly ¥60 billion, more than doubling the result of the previous year. In 2003, the Japanese biotech market was estimated at ¥1.6 trillion, the second largest in the world after the United States. Projected growth, due in particular to an aging demographic, predicted that it would reach ¥25 trillion in 2010: 8.4 for medical devices and pharmaceuticals; 6.3 for the agri-food segment, of which 3.2 for functional food (fermented and other health foods), 4.2 for the environment / energy sector, mainly in bioengineering; 5.3 for the bioinformatics segment and reagents / instrumentation. But in 2010 the actual market was capped at ¥ 2.4 trillion. In the opinion of some experts, […]

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