Japan to relax US beef-import rules from February after a decade

TOKYO (REUTERS) - Japan today agreed to allow US beef imports from cattle up to 30 months old from February, relaxing a restriction in place for about a decade on what was once the biggest market for US exports.

Under rules imposed in 2005, US beef imports had only been allowed from cattle up to 20 months old after a total ban in 2003 following an outbreak of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE).

Health Minister Norihisa Tamura said last week Japan would relax the restriction on Feb 1 if the panel of medicine and food experts consents.

Join ST's Telegram channel and get the latest breaking news delivered to you.