TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — As the demand for Chinese medicine in Japan intensifies, Japanese manufacturers are increasingly growing the herbs in-island, reported the Nikkei Asian Review.
The increase in demand for Chinese medicine style herbs is thought to correspond with the rise of Japan’s aging society as well as a more “health-conscious younger generation.”
Some Japanese farmers began to grow Chinese herbs when tea prices began to fall while others started as the market expanded.
Tsumara & Co. is the largest manufacturer of traditional Chinese medicine, accounting for over 80% of Japan’s herbal market, according to Nikkei.
Chinese consumers are often skeptical about the quality of Chinese-grown herbs. Chinese tourists frequently stock up on Japanese-grown herbs while visiting despite the herbs costing twice as much as back home, according to Nikkei.
In fact, the demand is increasing at such a rate, and prices to follow, that one Japanese drug manufacturer predicts there may be a scarcity of herbs in the coming decade, said Nikkei.