We’re learning that international interest in GS1 isn’t limited to commercial entities in the supply chain. More and more country-specific GS1 organizations are tied to government initiatives to bring more and better product identification standards for goods landing on their shores. Japan is no exception. Here’s a link to the GS1 Japan site. And here’s the relevant reference to GS1 Japan’s cooperation with the government:
We also play a key role in a Japanese Government project sponsored by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry to create new EDI business message standards for consumer packaged goods that was released in April 2007. We aim to expand this new standard to other products such as apparel goods and perishable fresh food. Promoting the synchronization of the master data is another important part of this project.
Also, lest anyone think GS1 is just another overnight sensation, the origins of GS1 Japan date back to 1972. While that of course was long before the current GS1 standard was conceived, a review of the steps and events leading up to the formation of GS1 Japan, as detailed at this site, provides a quick overview of how long GS1 has been in the making.