Japan will raise its tariffs on imported pork from Aug. 1 to March 31 following an import surge in the April-June period, farm ministry officials said Thursday.

It is the fourth straight year pork tariffs have been hiked. The increase stems from an import surge after Japan slapped a ban on imported U.S. beef because of mad cow disease.

Japan will raise the pork tariff to 510.03 yen per kg from the current 409.90 yen, the officials said.

The last round of tariff hikes ended at the end of March.

Under a law to take provisional measures on tariffs, the government automatically raises the tariffs if pork imports grow more than 19 percent in a quarter compared with the corresponding period of the last three years.

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