Japan May Ease Restrictions On American Beef

Friday, December 7th 2007, 2:33 pm
By: News On 6

TOKYO (AP) -- Japanese news reports say Japan will consider easing restrictions on U.S. beef imports. The move is an apparent compromise after months of pressure from
Washington. The Kyodo News agency says Japan's agriculture minister offered new concessions following the latest round of talks between Japanese and U.S. farm officials over Tokyo's restrictions on American beef.

Japan banned American beef imports over mad cow fears more than three years ago, but has eased that restriction to allow imported meat from young cattle aged 20 months or younger. But even that is on condition that certain bones and the spinal cord have been removed and the meat has been processed at selected plants.

On Friday, a senior U.S. farm official said Japan had indicated it could ease restrictions on American beef imports.