TOKYO (Kyodo) -- The government decided Friday to ratify the Nagoya Protocol on access to genetic resources and sharing of benefits arising from them, taking the step more than two years after the international agreement came into effect.
The Cabinet approved the ratification and will soon notify the United Nations of the decision. The protocol will be implemented in late August when Japan officially joins 97 other signatories which have already ratified it.
Japan originally aimed to complete domestic procedures to ratify the protocol by 2015, but it took longer for the government to set rules on sharing of benefits from genetic resources with provider countries as pharmaceutical firms and research institutes expressed concerns about their continued access to such resources and a potential increase in cost burdens.
The protocol, adopted in 2010 at a conference held in the central Japan city of Nagoya, entered into force in 2014, aiming to support conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity.
Users of genetic resources are required to negotiate mutually agreeable terms with provider countries and report them to the government.
Those conducting scientific research and not seeking profits from such resources as plants, animals and microorganisms will have to share findings with providing countries.