Japan imports a third of its fruit, with the US as the second largest supplier. The US is Japan's largest supplier of oranges, lemons, grapes and cherries. The Japanese fruit sector is very competitive. The prospects for exporting fruit to Japan are expected to increase as a result of the declining domestic cultivation. All fruit imports into Japan must be accompanied by phytosanitary certificates. Some types of fresh fruit currently do not have access to the Japanese market due to phytosanitary requirements.
In 2018, the US exported 318 million dollars (291 million euros) of fruit to Japan, making Japan the number 4 overseas market for American fresh fruit. The US accounted for 15% of total fruit imports into Japan. The years below correspond to the Japanese fiscal year that starts on April 1.
American safeguard clause
Japan will apply a seasonal US safeguard clause for oranges from 26,435 tons. The safeguard clause only applies to fruit imported between 1 December and 31 March. If the safeguard volume is exceeded, the rates for exports of oranges from the US will increase for the remainder of that period. The safeguard rate is 28% in years 1 to 3 and 20% in years 4 to 6. The safeguard clause is abolished in the seventh year (2025).