Japan Farm Minister Stresses Safety of "Wagyu" Beef

Politics

Tsuno, Miyazaki Pref., Dec. 11 (Jiji Press)--Japanese agriculture minister Taku Eto stressed the safety of "wagyu" beef to China during a visit to a cutting-edge meat-processing plant with high hygiene control standards on Wednesday, as Tokyo hopes to resume exports of the Japanese beef to China at an early date.

Eto visited the plant run by major Japanese meat-processing company Miyachiku in the town of Tsuno, Miyazaki Prefecture, southwestern Japan, with Chinese Ambassador to Japan Kong Xuanyou. The plant, which started operations in April, has acquired an international hygiene control certification, allowing beef exports to the United States and the European Union.

After inspecting the meat-processing room and storeroom, Kong praised the facility and said that he will make sincere efforts so that Japanese farm products, including Miyazaki beef, will reach the dining tables of Chinese people.

Eto said he hopes the visit will help accelerate China's procedures to resume beef imports from Japan.

Currently, China bans beef imports from Japan over mad cow disease, formally called bovine spongiform encephalopathy, or BSE. Tokyo and Beijing last month signed an agreement on animal health and quarantine, meeting one of the conditions for China to lift the ban. China is expected to resume imports of Japanese beef after necessary conditions are set and related meat-processing facilities are certified.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press