Japan and the United States will start working-level talks Wednesday in Tokyo to discuss the U.S. request for Japan to lift the ban on American beef, farm minister Shoichi Nakagawa said Tuesday.

The minister of agriculture, forestry and fisheries suggested at a news conference the U.S. needs to supply more specific information on the results of its reinspections of 37 U.S. beef processing facilities than it did in its earlier report.

“Although they have forwarded us the outlines of the checks, there remain some points we want to confirm,” he said, expressing plans to obtain convincing answers to Japanese inquiries on the U.S. inspection system before launching talks on resuming trade.

Nakagawa said the talks, the first working-level exchange on the issue since March, will last about two days.

The U.S. is expected to press for a resumption of beef imports as soon as possible on grounds it has finished reinspecting the beef processing facilities.

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