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The United States government might certify the safety of American beef bound for Japan, paving the way for early resumption of Japanese imports, Japanese sources said Wednesday.

Washington’s proposal is expected to be included in a report on mad cow disease being compiled by a panel of experts from both countries, the sources said.

Japan and the U.S. started two days of beef-trade talks in Tokyo earlier in the day in an effort to end a Japanese ban on U.S. beef imposed after a case of mad cow disease was discovered there last year.

Experts and government officials from both sides met for the third and final round of meetings that follow one held in Tokyo in May and another in Fort Collins, Colo.

Japan and the U.S. are slated to hold a higher-level policy meeting in August to reach a decision.

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