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Japan, U.S. hope to resolve beef ban by next month

Kyodo

Senior Japanese and U.S. officials reaffirmed Friday that the two countries will reach a conclusion next month on whether Japan will reopen its market to American beef, which has been banned since December, a Japanese official said.

The two countries confirmed the policy at their annual sub-Cabinet dialogue under the Economic Partnership for Growth initiative, launched by Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi and President George W. Bush in 2001.

Deputy Foreign Minister Ichiro Fujisaki represented Japan at the meeting, while Deputy National Security Adviser Faryar Shirzad led the U.S. delegation.

After experts hold their third and last meeting in Tokyo for two days starting Tuesday, Japan and the U.S. will hold a higher-level policy meeting in August to reach a conclusion on the beef trade issue, the official said.

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