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Cablegate: Apec Food Defense Pilot Project: Japan

VZCZCXRO7884
PP RUEHCHI RUEHFK RUEHHM RUEHKSO RUEHNAG RUEHPB
DE RUEHKO #2205 2241321
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 111321Z AUG 08
FM AMEMBASSY TOKYO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 6502
INFO RUEHZU/ASIAN PACIFIC ECONOMIC COOPERATION
RUEHRC/DEPT OF AGRICULTURE WASHINGTON DC
RUEAUSA/DEPT OF HHS WASHINGTON DC

UNCLAS TOKYO 002205

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

DEPT FOR EAP/EP:MATHUR
DEPT FOR OES/IHB:OSTFIELD

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PTER TBIO APECO EAGR
SUBJECT: APEC FOOD DEFENSE PILOT PROJECT: JAPAN

REF: STATE 83232

Sensitive But Unclassified. Please Protect Accordingly.

1. (SBU) Embassy Tokyo believes Japan is an appropriate
candidate for a future APEC food defense pilot project, but
GOJ officials may not show much initial interest in
sponsoring such an activity.

2. (SBU) Based on criteria listed reftel, we rank Japan's
suitability high. U.S.-Japan food trade is very large.
Japan has both the capacity and level of development to
support food defense work, and a strong track record in
cooperating with the United States on counter-terrorism
issues. Several recent, high-profile food contamination
cases have raised Japanese public awareness about food safety
issues and, with fairly strict controls on food distribution
and production, Japan could provide constructive examples to
APEC developing economies. On the other hand, the GOJ was
unable to send appropriate officials to a recent G8 Food
Defense workshop and there is little priority given
domestically to implementing anti-bioterrorism measures.

3. (SBU) Econoff raised the food defense issue at an
introductory courtesy call with MOFA's Director for APEC
Affairs August 6. We noted at that time that food defense is
among the USG's APEC counter-terrorism priorities, and the
United States is working to identify co-sponsors for future
pilot projects in this area.
SCHIEFFER

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