No change in Japan's policy on U.S. beef with new ag minister

Japan's new prime minister Shinzo Abe, who was elected to the nation's top post this week, has appointed a new minister of agriculture whose stance on U.S. beef is unchanged from his predecessor's, according to reports.
calendar icon 27 September 2006
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Ag minister Toshikatsu Matsuoka, a former ministry of agriculture official, said this week he won't change the policy set by Japan's former ag leader, Shoichi Nakagawa, that dictates only boneless beef from animals less than 20 months of age may be imported from the U.S.

Matsuoka didn't rule out that beef import rules may be relaxed later in the future, but asserted trust in U.S. beef must be re-established in Japanese consumers before such a move can take place.

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