BSE won't stop Japan's U.S. beef imports
A new case of mad cow disease in the United States is unlikely to affect Japan's decision on whether to ease its import restrictions on U.S. cattle, Chief Cabinet Secretary Osamu Fujimura said Wednesday, Kyodo news reported.
Fujimura, the government's top spokesman, also said Japan believes there is no need to take further steps against U.S. beef imports, as the cow infected with bovine spongiform encephalopathy found in California was older than 30 months.
Japan has been considering easing restrictions that currently only allow imports of cattle aged 20 months or younger from the United States, to allow those aged 30 months or younger.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture confirmed the country's fourth case of mad cow disease Tuesday, the first since 2006.
Tokyo banned imports of U.S. and Canadian beef in 2003 following the confirmation of the disease. It lifted the blanket ban in December 2005, but has imposed conditions that included the 20-month-or-younger age limit.
The United States has urged Japan to lift its import restrictions on American beef products.
-Tokyo Bureau, Dow Jones Newswires; +81-3-6269-2770
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
April 25, 2012 08:32 ET (12:32 GMT)
DJ Japan Fujimura: New BSE Case In US Unlikely To Affect Import Review -Kyodo->copyright