Japan Ends Talks Without Changes

JAPAN - Japan and the U.S. wrapped up two-day talks Thursday after exchanging views and data on American beef imports, but there was no agreement on Washington's calls for Tokyo to relax its import restrictions, officials said.
calendar icon 29 June 2007
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Japan allows imports of U.S. beef only from cattle 20 months old or younger, because mad-cow disease hasn't been detected in meat from young cattle.

In May, the World Organization for Animal Health ruled that the U.S. was a "controlled risk nation" -- a country that can export beef from cattle of any age. The U.S. has cited that report in urging Japan to review its policy.

During the closed meeting that began Wednesday, the U.S. submitted the data it provided to the animal health organization. Japan will examine the data, Agriculture Ministry official Toshio Katagai said.

Mr. Katagai said the talks focused on cattle feed and the surveillance system in the U.S. Japanese experts also requested further details about both, to be submitted later by the U.S.

There was no agreement or decision from the latest talks over whether Japan was to ease its import restrictions, he added.

Source: Wall Street Journal
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