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Yaeyama salt wins patent registration

Date Posted: 2006-11-10

Ishigaki Island is well known in Japan for its natural salts.

The salt is now gaining international attention, and Ishigaki Island in the Yaeyama chain to the far south of Okinawa Prefecture is gearing up for both regional and worldwide marketing. The first step, registering its salt with the Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry Patent Office, has been accomplished. It was one of 52 patents issued by the ministry office in Tokyo.

The Yaeyama District Tourism Promotion Association spearheaded the effort, dubbed “Natural Ocean Salt”. Islanders are now pleased, and are beginning to realize the money they can make from the salt.

The unique Ishigaki Island ocean salt has already been introduced to world famous five-star hotels, chefs and international buyers. One chef, after tasting and using the Okinawa salt, says “we would like to use the Okinawan ocean salt. It has many great minerals, is soft and healthy.”

A central government spokesman says the patent was well organized. The patent office registered more than 375 products, but issued only 52 patents, often because paperwork was not well documented.

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