October 3, 2011


US urges Japan to decide age limits of US beef imports



Japan was urged by US Ambassador to Japan John Roos on Friday (Sep 30) to make immediate decisions on the age limits of US beef imports and its participation on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) free trade pact negotiations.


Roos made the request in talks with Japan's Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Minister Michihiko Kano.


In reply, Kano emphasised that he will consider whether to join the talks on the TPP based on the feelings of farmers and fisheries workers affected by the March 11 earthquake and tsunami.


On Japan's beef import curbs, Kano said that it is important to deal with the issue on a scientific basis because it is related to food sanitation and lead to a decision that both sides can accept.


Japan currently imports US beef only from cattle that are up to 20 months old, due to concerns about mad cow disease, formally known as bovine spongiform encephalopathy, or BSE.

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