Beef Talks Continue to Stall in Japan

Tom Vilsack

Discussions between Japanese and U.S. agriculture officials over the Japanese government’s restrictions on U.S. beef imports continue to stall.

U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack proposed a transitional solution to address the issue, including easing the limits on U.S. beef imports for meat from cattle aged 20 months or younger.

In a statement, Vilsack said that he and Japanese Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Minister Hirotaka Akamatsu “share the view that U.S. and Japanese officials will continue the dialogue through a series of senior and working level meetings in order to establish a mutually agreeable framework for the import conditions for U.S. beef and beef products.”

However, Akamatsu said the two countries “remain apart” at the moment and discussions going forward may be problematic. Akamatsu believes the U.S. may have in mind the idea of Tokyo lifting the age limit by allowing imports of beef from cattle aged less than 30 months.

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