The Japanese government may loosen its restrictions on U.S. beef to allow imports of meat from cattle up to 30 months of age, a Japanese newspaper reports.
Yomiuri Shimbun cited unnamed sources who claim Japan may inform the U.S. before September that it is willing to raise the minimum age for imported beef.
The U.S., however, will continue to ask for all age limits to be removed. On Tuesday, Japanese Agriculture Minister Masatoshi Wakabayashi told a news conference that USDA Secretary Mike Johanns called him the night before asking for the removal of all age limits on U.S. beef.
Japan has imposed an age limit of 20 months on beef imports from the United States over mad cow disease fears since it lifted a ban on U.S. beef imports in July last year.