February 13, 2004



Japan Resumes Pork Imports From South Korea's Cheju


Japan has lifted its pork import ban from Cheju Island in South Korea, but the ban remains on imports from the rest of the country, the Japanese Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries said Thursday.


Japanese and South Korean animal hygiene experts will meet to discuss sanitary conditions for pork exports to Japan in a process that takes about several months, ministry officials said, according to Kyodo.


Japan has imposed the ban on pork imports from South Korea since May 2000 following the outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease, a highly contagious illness that affects cloven-hoofed animals.


Tokyo will maintain the import ban on pork from parts of South Korea other than Cheju Island in view of the outbreak of swine fever in that country, the officials said, Kyodo reported.


The World Organization for Animal Health recognized pork in South Korea as safe for consumption in November 2002 and the ministry sent animal hygiene experts to South Korea last October to look into sanitary conditions at pig farms there.

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