The Embassy of Japan, New Delhi, has filed an application seeking Geographical Indication (GI) tag for nihonshu/Japanese sake, an alcoholic beverage.
- It is learnt that this is the first time a product from Japan has filed for a tag at the Geographical Indication Registry in Chennai.
GS III: Indian Economy
Dimensions of the Article:
- About Nihonshu/Japanese sake
- About GI Tag
About Nihonshu/Japanese sake:
- Nihonshu is regarded as a special and valuable beverage made from fermenting rice.
- People traditionally drink nihonshu on special occasions, such as festivals, weddings or funerals, but it is also consumed on a daily basis.
- Thus, it is an integral part of the lifestyle and culture in Japan.
- The sake market (almost all are nihonshu) is the second largest brewed liquor (such as beer) market in Japan.
- For making nihonshu three main raw materials – rice, koji-kin (a type of fungal spore) and water – are required.
- The production of nihonshu follows an alcoholic fermentation method called parallel multiple fermentation and involves raw material treatment, koji making, starter culture making, mash making, pressing, heat sterilisation and bottling.
- The rice and koji used should originate in Japan.
- The Embassy of Japan, in the filing, also mentioned that in the past, the economy of Japan was based around rice, which was used as a sort of quasi-money before the establishment of a monetary economy in the Meiji period (1869-1912).
- As a result, nihonshu production was thoroughly under the government’s control.
- As nihonshu’s production became more industrialised in the Edo period (1603-1868), those who had special licences began hiring many farmers in the agricultural off-season.
- They gradually won a reputation as craftsmen, which resulted in the establishment of the hierarchical Toii system (Toii is the person responsible for sake brewing), likened to an apprenticeship or guild system.
About GI Tag
- Geographical Indications of Goods are defined as that aspect of industrial property which refer to the geographical indication referring to a country or to a place situated therein as being the country or place of origin of that product.
- Typically, such a name conveys an assurance of quality and distinctiveness which is essentially attributable to the fact of its origin in that defined geographical locality, region or country.
- Geographical Indications are covered as a component of intellectual property rights (IPRs) under the Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property.
- GI is also governed by the World Trade Organization’s (WTO’s) Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS).
- In India, Geographical Indications registration is administered by the Geographical Indications of Goods (Registration and Protection) Act, 1999 which came into force with effect from September 2003, this tag is issued by the Geographical Indication Registry under the Department of Industry Promotion and Internal Trade (DIPIT), Ministry of Commerce and Industry.
- The first product in India to be accorded with GI tag was Darjeeling tea in the year 2004-05.
- The registration of a geographical indication is valid for a period of 10 years.
- It can be renewed from time to time for further period of 10 years each.
- The Geographical Indications Registry would be located at Chennai.
- Any association of persons, producers, organisation or authority established by or under the law can be a registered proprietor.
- Their name should be entered in the Register of Geographical Indication as registered proprietor for the Geographical Indication applied for.
- Karnataka has the highest number of GI tags i.e. 47 products followed by Tamil Nadu (39).
-Source: The Hindu