TOKYO Aug 24 Japan is set to resume from Friday
beef exports to the United States suspended since April 2010
after foot-and-mouth disease was found in Japanese cows, a farm
ministry official said, paving the way for wagyu beef to reach
Washington has given the green light for Japanese cattle
slaughtered on Aug. 18 or later to enter the world's biggest
market, after a review of Japan's food safety measures allayed
its worries about the chance of radioactive contamination.
Earlier this week, a Japanese farm official had signalled
the export schedule might be disrupted after Washington asked
for details of Tokyo's food safety measures.
"The U.S. Department of Agriculture made a review of our
radiation safety measures and gave a nod to it, so the timing to
slaughter for exports remains unchanged," the official said.
The United States has set curbs, generally in line with
Japan's domestic measures, on the import of other food products
from Japan to protect against radioactive contamination since
the Fukushima nuclear crisis sparked by last year's devastating
earthquake and tsunami.
Before Japan's outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease, beef
exports stood at 565 tonnes in 2009, 72 tonnes of which was
bought by the United States.
Although there is no trade data on the type of beef
exported, an export value of 4,000 yen to 6,000 yen ($51 to $77)
per kg and a survey of exporters suggest most of the beef
exported was wagyu, another ministry official said.
The United States has given Japan's beef a clean bill of
health on the foot-and-mouth concerns. Japan is also reviewing
its curbs on U.S. beef imports as global concern over mad cow