Entering trade talks this week with the United States, Japan’s position on imports of U.S. beef will not change, the country’s agriculture ministry said Friday, according to a report by Bloomberg.
U.S. and Japanese officials will meet Tuesday and Wednesday in San Francisco for working-level talks regarding bilateral beef trade, a USDA spokesperson confirmed to Meatingplace without addressing Japan’s reported stance. The talks will be led by USDA Chief Veterinary Officer John Clifford and his Japanese counterpart, Toshiro Kawashima.
“Representatives of USDA and [the U.S. Trade Representative] will participate in these talks, which will focus on clarifying and addressing technical issues regarding Japan’s regulations and regulatory processes related to beef, as well as on developments in the United States,” the spokesperson said in an e-mail.
Japan has held firm on restricting imports of U.S. beef to those from cattle aged 20 months or younger.
In April, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and his counterpart Hirotaka Akamatsu agreed to resume talks toward normalizing beef trade. Akamatsu since has departed the office.
His successor, Masahiko Yamada, is quoted as saying to reporters, “Our stance is unchanged.”