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WASHINGTON (Kyodo) U.S. Agriculture Undersecretary J.B. Penn said Wednesday the Department of Agriculture will send a team of experts to Japan next week for working-level talks aimed at having Tokyo lift the ban on imports of American beef, according to a Dow Jones news report.

Another USDA undersecretary, Chuck Lambert, will head the team to present the findings of U.S. inspections conducted on the way American meat exporters are handling their products.

“I believe that will show that we can give all of the assurances that the Japanese have asked for and that it’s now time for the Japanese auditors to come here and for us to conclude the process,” Penn was quoted as saying.

The U.S. official thereby expressed hope that Japan will start importing American beef again.