EU to lift Japanese beef import ban

Kyodo

The European Commission said EU member states have decided to allow imports of Japanese beef, a move that will enable Japan’s beef producers to tap into the bloc of some 500 million consumers.

Beef exports to the European Union are expected to start after both sides complete internal procedures within a few months, the commission said Wednesday.

With Japanese food already winning popularity in Europe, high-grade beef brands are likely to see solid demand. The EU decision follows Japan’s move Feb. 1 to lift a ban on beef imports from France and the Netherlands by easing restrictions to prevent mad cow disease. The commission welcomed the step and expressed hope for progress by the two sides on concluding a free-trade deal.