WASHINGTON (Kyodo) U.S. agricultural exports to Japan are expected to slide 11.8 percent to $7.8 billion in fiscal 2004 from the previous year due to the outbreak of mad cow in the United States in December, the Agriculture Department said Thursday.

In November, the department anticipated U.S. agricultural exports to Japan for the year to this September would rise 2.9 percent to $9.1 billion. A month later, Japan banned U.S. beef imports following the discovery of the first U.S. case of mad cow disease, or bovine spongiform encephalopathy.

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