About the Geographical Indication System for
Liquor Products

What is a GI?

GI is a system which promote the appropriate using of the name of the geographical origin, which is the common property of the area. When the liquor products have specific characteristics of the area, based on the application from a producers’ association of the area, the Commissioner of the National Tax Agency of JAPAN grants it as the GIs. After that, only the producers of the area can use the GIs for their products*.
For the producers of the GI area, there is a merit “differentiation with other products”, and for the consumers, there is a merit that they can choose the more reliable products by the local brand establishment.

*The condition for using the GI is that the production take place inthe GI area, and meets the production standards.

Why was the GI system established?

Foreign countries

The GI system is based on the “Controlled Designation of Origin”system of wine, which is an important product of the international trade mainly in Europe for a long time.In order to prevent unfair using of the name of geographical origin, main wine producing countries such as France officially established the standard of conditions to use the name of geographical origin for product wine, and have protected profits of both producers and consumers.


When the WTO (World Trade Organization) started, protection of the GIs of wines and spirits became the duty of the member nations. Therefore, the National Tax Agency of JAPAN established the system in 1994. And the system was revised in 2015, and all liquor products became targets of the system.

How are the GIs displayed?

Example of indication : GI for “Toranomon”

Any of the following letters are written jointly more than one place of the GIs.

  • 1. 地理的表示
  • 2. Geographical Indication
  • 3. GI