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Japan, once the largest buyer of U.S. beef, will take further steps to relax curbs on American beef imports first imposed in 2003 after the discovery of mad cow disease in Washington state, a Japanese official said.

“We’ll hold negotiations with the U.S. to decide how to revise the existing import conditions,” said the official, who attended a meeting between the two countries this month. The talks will focus on cattle age limits, he said, declining to be identified due to the confidentiality of the talks.

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