3Although the term used is "non-wood" forest products, the category includes fuelwood, charcoal and even Paulawnia wood. This is historically the categorisation in Japan.
Non-timber forest products cover a large number of products including various kinds of mushrooms such as "shiitake mushroom (black mushroom)", "enoki mushroom", "hiratake mushroom (abalone mushroom)", raw materials for traditional handicrafts such as bamboo, Paulawnia timber, Japanese wax, wood fuel such as charcoal, various nuts, edible wild plants, etc. Production of these non-wood forest products is important from viewpoint of promoting compound forestry management as well as is becoming an important industry that earns cash for mountain region where depopulation and ageing of society being developed. Production of non-timber forest products in 1995 was yen 341.1 billion.
Based on healthy and nature oriented trends among consumers, the annual consumption of mushroom per capita is going up. This circumstance indicates that it is important to promote improvement of production, processing and distribution system corresponding with actual condition of each producing district. It is also necessary to deal with planning and developing commercial products as regional special commodities, and to attempt to expand demand for such products through diffusion and enlightenment on advantages of mushrooms as health foods.