On 23 June 2006, Japan formally lifted its 20-year-old ban on import of Indian mangoes. The move now provides market access to the Indian fruit after a gap of two decades.
The Japanese Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries had formally communicated the decision to the Union Government.
A Japanese technical team, which visited India earlier this year, had satisfied itself with the safety aspects of Indian mangoes. The varieties that can now be imported by Japan are: Alphonso, Banganapalli, Kesar, Langra, Chausa and Malika. These are grown in pre-identified areas of Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal.
Japan had banned Indian mangoes in 1986 on suspected pest infestation by fruit flies.
Since then, the Centre had been trying hard to have the ban lifted. The Indian Agricultural Research Institute and other research bodies worked on eliminating the risk of fruit flies and came up with vapor heat treatment. This treatment was found to be effective way back in 1998 and the Japanese authorities too approved of it. But subsequently, Japan raised the issue of a new fruit fly.