Japanese fermented milk drink maker Yakult Honsha has said it plans to set up its first overseas research centre in Belgium on 1 April.

The centre will be built at a science park in Ghent, northwest of Brussels, and will initially be run by researchers from Yakult in Japan, reported Jiji Press.

The company plans to join with local research institutions to study the intestinal microbial flora of Europeans and investigate how Yakult drinks can be formulated to better improve gut function among Europeans.