The ruling Liberal Democratic Party is looking at establishing legislation designed to boost the international competitiveness of Japanese wine.
Under the proposed legislation, the government would issue certificates of origin for wine and guarantee product quality if wine made from domestically grown grapes meets certain criteria.
LDP lawmakers hope to submit the bill to the Diet early next year, sources said.
Currently, Japan has no law dedicated to certifying the place of origin and quality of wine, which some critics say is responsible for the lack of brand competitiveness for home-produced wines.
European Union members, many of which are wine producers, have in place legislation that certifies the place of origin. France, for example, protects brands such as Bordeaux and Burgundy.
In July last year, the National Tax Agency designated “Yamanashi” as a geographical indication for wine brands that meet strict criteria. But wine designation criteria under the related law are still unclear and there has been no other designation.
A law was enacted in June to protect regional brands of agricultural, forestry and fishery products as well as other food items. However, alcoholic beverages are not covered by the law.
The LDP believes new legislation to certify the place of origin for wine and its quality will help bolster the export competitiveness of Japanese wine, the sources said.
The party is discussing a system under which local industry representatives draw up certification criteria and the national government screens applications based on the standards, according to the sources.