Japan on Tuesday lifted its import ban on poultry and poultry meat from the Netherlands, imposed in March following an outbreak of bird flu in that country, the farm ministry said.

The move by the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries came as the Netherlands completed implementation of epidemic prevention measures. There have been no reports of new cases of avian flu in the country.

The ministry introduced the ban on March 17 after the Dutch government confirmed there was an outbreak of the disease.

Japan traditionally has imported very little chicken meat from the Netherlands. But in 2002, it bought 430,000 chicks from the country, accounting for 36 percent of chicks Japan imported that year.

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