The working party of the Science Council of Japan is the coordinating committee in Japan concerned with technological infrastructure for biological genetic resources (Fig. 12.2). The nodal ministry conserving agricultural genetic resources is the Japanese MAFF, and for crop genetic resources the National Institute of Agrobiological Resources (NIAR) is the central bank. Since 1983 NIAR, in coordination with fourteen other agricultural organizations in MAFF has been developing and improving the crop genetic resources genebank system of Japan.1,2 Key to the system is strong central leadership and devolved responsibility in a matrix type system.
The current structure of the MAFF genebank system for crops is shown in Figure 12.3, and some of its major activities are highlighted below.
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