Japan is the historic centre of pearl production. Cultured pearl farming began there at the beginning of the 20th century. Both marine pearl farming (e.g. Ago Bay) and freshwater pearl farming (lakes Biwa and Kasumiguara). At present, cultured pearl farming has greatly lost in importance but Japan is still a major centre of the global cultured pearl trade. Japanese investment and expertise (e.g. in grafting) significantly contributed to the emergence of cultured pearl farming in other parts of the world.