Japanese and United States government officials will meet this Thursday and Friday (Oct. 21-22) in Tokyo to discuss issues related to the resumption of trade of U.S. and Japanese beef.
Japan closed its borders to U.S. beef after the December finding of a cow with the brain-wasting disorder, bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE). The two governments will build off of the progress made regarding testing age and verification processes.
Participants in the consultation include Japan's Foreign Affairs Ministry Director Kenichiro Sasae, Agriculture Ministry Director Hiroshi Nakagawa, and Health, Labour and Welfare Ministry Director Takashi Toguchi.
Representing the United States several top officials will urge Japan to lower the testing age and act for a quick resumption of trade. Some of those officials include J.B. Penn, under secretary for Farm and Foreign Agricultural Services, Stephen Sundlof, director of the Food and Drug Administration's Center for Veterinary Medicine, Chuck Lambert, deputy under secretary for marketing & regulatory programs and others.
Reports indicate Japan may be willing to lower the testing age to 20 months and older. However, it is not expected trade will resume until after 2005.