The access for the country’s main cherry-growing region was announced on Friday by Canadian Agriculture Minister Lawrence MacAulay and Member of Parliament Stephen Fuhr.
British Columbia Cherry Association president Sukhpaul Bal said he was delighted at the news.
“The BC Cherry Association is extremely pleased that efforts from government and industry have secured access to the Japanese market for Canadian cherries,” he said.
“Our growers and industry partners look forward to building long-lasting relationships with Japanese customers and cannot wait to see cherries branded with the maple leaf in stores across Japan.”
Last year Japan imported around US$48 million of fresh cherries from around the world. The Canadian Government says that its fresh cherry exports to Japan could be worth up to US$6 million annually.
This market access follows MacAulay’s recent trade mission to Japan in March.
Once the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) enters into force, Canadian agriculture and agri-food exports will benefit from preferential access to key Asian markets, including Japan.
Through the CPTPP, Japan’s tariffs of 8.5% on fresh cherries will be eliminated over five years from entry into force.
In 2017 the Asian country was Canada’s third-largest market for agri-food and seafood with exports of CAD$4.5 billion (US$3.5 billion).
The Chinese market opened for British Columbia cherries in 2014, a development which has driven increased plantings.