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China, Japan Make Progress on Lifting Beef Import Ban: Report

16 April 2019

CHINA & JAPAN - China and Japan have reached a substantial consensus on an animal health quarantine agreement, which is one of the conditions for lifting a ban on China's imports of Japanese beef, news site kyodonews.net reported on Monday.

Industry analysts said it showed China's further opening-up of the agricultural market, and Japanese beef will help meet the rising demand for premium beef from Chinese consumers.

Other procedures are still needed, but this is what Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono noted "a vital step forward lifting the ban," the report said.

The agreement was made at a ministerial-level economic discussion over the weekend.

China banned imports of beef from Japan in 2001 when a number of Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy cases were found in the country.

Tanaka Kazuhiro, an official from the Agricultural Policy Division of Kagoshima prefecture, southwestern Japan, told the Global Times that "[we are] very pleased to know the two countries have discussed the agreement to lift the ban, and expect local beef could be exported to China as soon as possible."

Kagoshima prefecture has large beef production and can stably export premium beef to China, Kazuhiro said.

The lifting of the ban is a reciprocal move that shows China's further opening-up of its agricultural market, said Ma Wenfeng, a senior analyst at Beijing Orient Agribusiness Consultants.

As the quality of Japanese beef is quite good, China can acquire some advanced experience in quality management from Japanese suppliers, Ma told the Global Times on Monday.

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Source: Global Times

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