1) The early days of the chewing gum industry

It is not an exaggeration to say that the chewing gum industry in Japan really took off during the post-war period after World War II.

It was said to have been marketed as a “chewable confectionery” in the Taisho era(great righteousness in English), but it did not appeal to the sensibility and the aesthetics of Japanese people who were more reserved, and therefore it did not take a strong hold in the Japanese market.

After the war, the influence of the U.S. occupied forces and propaganda to raise awareness of early access to Western culture led to a rapid spread in people’s lives.

Under such conditions, cottage industries and small manufacturers were fiercely competing against each other, and it is said that at one point there were more than 300 companies nationwide.

2) Difficulty in obtaining raw materials under controlled economy

The conditions surrounding the new chewing gum industry was extremely harsh. One challenge was the difficulty in obtaining raw materials. For a long time, those who wanted sweet foods competed to buy certain ingredients, while the lack of supplies led the government to tighten control over raw materials and these new companies were subject to relentless crackdowns on raw materials and price controls, with the chewing gum industry, which had no previous track record being particularly targeted by this treatment.

3) Chewing gum was not considered a part of the confectionery industry

Many ingredients of chewing gum were controlled substances, and the product had to be submitted to (the organisation of that time) The Price Agency for approval. The reasons for this were twofold, firstly to set a specific selling price and to gain the relevant permission for the product to be legally sold. The application needed to be filed by an industry association, but as chewing gum was relatively new and was without previous pre-war history, it was not considered to be part of the confectionary industry and as a result could not join the confectionery industry union. Therefore, the necessity of carrying out the required regulatory requirements led to the chewing gum companies coming together, and in July 1949 they established the “National Chewing gum Cooperative Association” as a so-called handling body. This has evolved into the current Japan Chewing Gum Association.

4) Movement before and after the establishment of the Japan Chewing Gum Association

For about 10 years after chewing gum industry emerged in post-war Japan, Japan was still reluctant to open the country to foreigners and had many import restrictions, However, due to pressure of from foreign countries for Japan to abolish it’s import restrictions and for the need for Japan to export, the Japanese economy had to undergo a major transformation. The chewing gum industry was under a lot of scrutiny and turmoil, with liberalization at the beginning of the economic invasion of developed nations, Meiji Restoration which was defeated by many merchant ships from Western countries arriving in Japan which had reopened for trade.

5)About the Japan Chewing Gum Association

At that time, the chewing gum industry was divided into the Kanto, Chubu, and Kansai areas, and each had its own rules and methods. The various Associations was gradually dissolved and new members were invited, and on January 28, 1960, a new organisation was formed as the Japan Chewinggum Association. (The current official name is “Japan Chewing Gum Association.”)

・description of business

(1)Meetings and events for mutual friendship, and communication between members, and improvement and development of the chewing gum industry

(2)Activities to defend the interests of the chewing gum industry

(3)Collection and provision of materials and information on the chewing gum industry

(4)Survey on chewing gum industry

(5)Contact with related government agencies

(6)Other business necessary to achieve the purpose of the Society

・ Founded January 28, 1960

・ office
〒105-0004 66-9-5 Shinbashi, Minato-ku, Tokyo JB Building 6F
TEL : 03-3433-5213

・ Number of members (as of April 2019)
18 companies

・ Chairman (as of April 2019)
Eiichi Ushigo

・ Competent authorities
Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries

・ Related organizations
National Chewing Gum Industry Fair Trade Council