• Kyodo News

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The agriculture ministry and China’s top agricultural company have reaffirmed they plan to boost Japanese exports of produce to China.

Michihiko Kano, minister of agriculture, forestry and fisheries, and Liu Shenli, president of China National Agricultural Development Group Corp., reached the accord during a meeting Wednesday in Tokyo.

“If Chinese consumers become familiar with Japanese agricultural and marine products, it should enhance amicable relations between Japan and China,” Kano said.

Liu, head of China’s largest state-run agricultural company, showed eagerness to buy more Japanese farm products.

“Chinese consumers have a good image of Japanese rice and beef,” he said.

Japan exported about 100 tons of rice to China in 2010. Tokyo has been calling on Beijing to ease its quarantine regulations, with the aim of expanding annual shipments to 200,000 tons in the future.

Prior to the meeting with Kano, Liu visited the National Farmers Academy in Tsukuba, Ibaraki Prefecture. He also planned to visit a low-temperature warehouse and a wholesale market for agricultural products in Niigata Prefecture on Thursday.

On Friday, he is expected to explain his company’s stance on importing Japanese agricultural products to farmers’ associations and food makers at a meeting organized by the farm ministry.

Liu’s visit follows the signing of a memorandum by his company and the ministry in December on increasing Japanese exports of rice and other produce to China.

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