Sweetpotato [Ipomoea batatas (L.)] is one of the most important upland crops in southern Japan. Although its processing use has been mainly directed towards the starch industry, the starch from imported corn is replacing sweetpotato starch because of its lower price. Sweetpotato known as an environmentally friendly crop, can grow under many unfavourable conditions such as drought and typhoon. It is important to identify new processing fields in order to upkeep sweetpotato production. Cultivar ‘Joy White’ was released in 1994 for the alcohol industry. This has a high starch content and non-beta-amylase activity. Cultivar ‘Ayamurasaki’ was released in 1995 for the colorant industry. This has a high anthocyanin content and high dry matter content. Another new cultivar ‘J-Red’ was released in August 1997 for the juice industry. This has a high beta-carotene content and low dry matter content. Coloured powder or paste from sweetpotato will become new materials with natural colour and rich nutrition for processing food. In the near future, the use of the sweetpotato top will become more important from the view of nutrition and function. Research has just begun to select new lines for use in Japan.