• Kyodo News


The United States made no specific request for Japan to relax beef import restrictions over mad cow disease at a just-completed meeting in San Francisco that ended Wednesday, Japanese officials said Thursday.

Japanese and U.S. officials explained their respective tests and safety measures for preventing the disease, formally known as bovine spongiform encephalopathy, at the working-level meeting, the first in three years on relaxing the Japanese beef import curbs, according to the officials.

Japan has restricted beef imports from the United States since the first U.S. case of the disease was discovered in 2003.

The two countries suspended beef trade talks in August 2007 due to their wide difference over how to relax the Japanese import restrictions.

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