The Nagoya Protocol

The Nagoya Protocol on Access to Genetic Resources and the Fair and Equitable Sharing of Benefits Arising from their Utilization to the Convention on Biological Diversity was adopted on 29 October 2010, during the 10th conference of the parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity held in Nagoya, Japan. It is an international instrument aiming at establishing procedures to ensure the fair and equitable access and benefit sharing (ABS) in using genetic resources.

After several years of careful consideration and coordination among related ministries and stakeholders, the government of Japan issued the ABS Guideline on May 18 2017 as domestic ABS measures for the Nagoya Protocol and ratified the Protocol on May 22 2017. Japan becomes a Party to the Protocol on August 20 2017.

Domestic ABS Measures

The ABS Guidelines

GUIDELINES ON ACCESS TO GENETIC RESOURCES AND THE FAIR AND EQUITABLE SHARING OF BENEFITS ARISING FROM THEIR UTILIZATION [PDF 168KB](hereinafter referred to as the “ABS Guidelines”) are issued jointly by the Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare, Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry as well as Ministry of the Environment of Japan. They become effective on the day of entry into force of the Nagoya Protocol in Japan. (August 20 2017).

Reports under the ABS Guidelines

The ABS Guidelines require persons who accessed to genetic resources under the framework of the Nagoya Protocol to report to the Minister of the Environment on their access and utilization of the genetic resources.

The information received under the ABS Guidelines are to be posted on the website of both the Ministry of the Environment and the ABSCH. Please click on the link below to see the posted reports.

Reports under the ABS Guidelines

Documents concerning the acquisition of genetic resources in Japan pursuant to Chapter 5 of the ABS Guidelines 

National Institute of Technology and Evaluation (NITE)  is authorized by the Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry as the organization which issues the documents to show that the genetic resources have been acquired in Japan.

The Background of the ABS Guidelines

The ABS Guidelines are based on the recommendation report published in March 2014 by "the Consultative Committee on the domestic measures to be taken for the ratification of the Nagoya Protocol". The committee consisted of experts from industries, academia and NGO, and the report is a compilation of discussions during the meetings and views and recommendations of the members.

* Available in Japanese: http://www.env.go.jp/nature/biodic/abs/conf01.html

Access to Genetic Resources in Japan

Based on the provision for the optional determination on access to domestic genetic resources in Article 6.1, the government made a decision not to take access measures in the ABS Guidelines (Chapter 4). In other words, users intending to access to genetic resources in Japan are not required to acquire the prior informed consent defined in Article 1 of the Protocol.

However, please note that collecting and/or importing plants, animals, microorganisms or other biological materials may be subject to other existing regulations (e.g. regulations regarding protected areas, endangered species, quarantine etc.) and agreements with land/specimen owners.

National Parks and other protected areas

Information on National Parks including regulations and maps is available on the websites below:

Please ask Ranger Offices for detailed information about required procedures under the Natural Parks Law of Japan. When you could not specify the Ranger Office in charge of the National Park area where you are planning to access the specimens, please contact the Regional Environmental Office in charge of the area. Contact information of Ranger offices and Regional Environmental Offices is available at:

It is also advisable to contact municipal and/or prefectural government offices where you are going to obtain plants and/or animals, as they might regulate the places or the species to protect.

Endangered Species

Some plants and animals are regulated by Act on Conservation of Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora of Japan, regardless of whether these are in protected area or not.

Other regulations

You could also contact the customs, the plant protection stations or the food quarantine station for general information regarding exportation of biological materials.

If you do your research with your collaborative partner in Japan, it is also advisable to consult with them.

CBD ABS Focal Points:

https://absch.cbd.int/search/FP
*It requires the latest version of web browser.

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