The Japan Meat Traders Association is sounding out the United States about the possibility of buying back 1,380 tons of U.S. beef that cannot clear Japanese customs, association officials said Friday.

The proposal concerns some 1.4 billion yen worth of U.S. beef imported by 17 Japanese companies that has accumulated since Japan reinstated a full ban on U.S. beef Jan. 20 after receiving a shipment containing unauthorized spinal cords.

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