Celebrating 25 Years of Scoop
Special: Up To 25% Off Scoop Pro Learn More

Search

 

Cablegate: Japan Lifts Suspension of U.S. Beef Imports

VZCZCXRO2610
OO RUEHFK RUEHKSO RUEHNAG RUEHNH
DE RUEHKO #4212/01 2081000
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 271000Z JUL 06
FM AMEMBASSY TOKYO
TO RUEHRC/DEPT OF AGRICULTURE WASHINGTON DC IMMEDIATE
RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 4754
INFO RUEHBK/AMEMBASSY BANGKOK 3756
RUEHEG/AMEMBASSY CAIRO 0181
RUEHHI/AMEMBASSY HANOI 0935
RUEHKL/AMEMBASSY KUALA LUMPUR 1706
RUEHME/AMEMBASSY MEXICO 0423
RUEHOT/AMEMBASSY OTTAWA 9506
RUEHSJ/AMEMBASSY SAN JOSE 0123
RUEHUL/AMEMBASSY SEOUL 9631
RUEHGP/AMEMBASSY SINGAPORE 6710
RUEHFK/AMCONSUL FUKUOKA 7404
RUEHHK/AMCONSUL HONG KONG 6041
RUEHNAG/AMCONSUL NAGOYA 7255
RUEHNH/AMCONSUL NAHA 9987
RUEHOK/AMCONSUL OSAKA KOBE 0710
RUEHKSO/AMCONSUL SAPPORO 8528
RUEHIN/AIT TAIPEI 6064

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 TOKYO 004212

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

STATE PASS USTR FOR AUSTR CUTLER

USTR ALSO FOR MBEEMAN AND RMEYERS

USDA FOR OSEC PENN AND TERPSTRA, FAS FOR KROBERTS, DLP/WETZEL

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ECON EAGR ETRD PREL PGOV JA
SUBJECT: JAPAN LIFTS SUSPENSION OF U.S. BEEF IMPORTS


1. (U) Summary: The Government of Japan announced July 27 that
the suspension of processing of imports of U.S. beef has been
lifted. The GOJ imposed the suspension January 20 following the
discovery by Japanese inspectors of prohibited spinal bones in a
shipment of veal from the United States. The Japanese acknowledged
that 34 U.S. plants will be allowed to begin slaughtering and
processing cattle into beef for export to Japan as of July 27.
Japan's Health Minister, however, indicated that any incident
involving the inclusion of prohibited "specified risk materials" in
a shipment of imported U.S. beef would lead to the suspension of all
beef imports from the United States. End summary.

Advertisement - scroll to continue reading

Are you getting our free newsletter?

Subscribe to Scoop’s 'The Catch Up' our free weekly newsletter sent to your inbox every Monday with stories from across our network.

----------------
Press Conference
----------------

2. (U) In a packed press conference at 1:30 p.m. Tokyo time July
27, Health Minister Jiro Kawasaki, accompanied by Agriculture Vice
Minister Mitsuhiro Miyakoshi, announced the Japanese Government's
decision to lift the suspension of imports of U.S. beef. Kawasaki
stated that 34 U.S. plants would be approved by the USG to resume
exports of beef to Japan. One plant, out of the 35 previously
approved, however, would not receive export permission from U.S.
authorities until after an additional audit of that facility had
been completed.

3. (U) During the questioning by reporters, Health Minister
Kawasaki was asked what responses the GOJ would take in response to
future violations of the agreement between the United States and
Japan on beef trade. Kawasaki said that the GOJ response would
depend on the individual case. Answering a follow-up question
regarding the GOJ response to an incident like that which occurred
on January 20, Kawasaki replied that the GOJ would impose a complete
suspension of beef imports from the United States if the shipment in
question contained "specified risk materials" (SRM). (Note: The
spinal bones found in the January 20 veal shipment were prohibited
under the USG agreement with Japan on beef imports but were not
actually scientifically defined SRMs. End note.)

4. (U) Kawasaki and Miyakoshi left the press conference after
approximately 20 minutes, after which Health Ministry Inspection and
Health Division Director Eiji Michino and Agriculture Ministry
International Animal Health Director Toshiro Kawashima took
reporters questions for an additional 45 minutes. During the
exchange with reporters, Michino reaffirmed the GOJ's position to
reimpose a total ban on U.S. beef imports in the event of a shipment
containing SRMs. The Agriculture Ministry's Kawashima also
confirmed that the "kill date" for beef exported to Japan (i.e., the
date from which cattle for export may be slaughtered and processed)
would be July 27.

------------------------------------------
Official Notification of End of Suspension
------------------------------------------

5. (SBU) At 5:30 p.m. Tokyo time, Embassy Ag Mincouns Berman met
with Agriculture Food Safety and Consumer Affairs Director General
Hiroshi Nakagawa and Health Ministry Food Safety Director General
Yoshiyuki Matsumoto. Nakagawa and Matsumoto passed Berman a letter
in Japanese formally notifying the USG of the lifting of the GOJ's
suspension of U.S. beef imports. They also stressed repeatedly that
the USG "must not let this (i.e., a violation of the beef import
agreement) happen again." In addition, the Japanese officials
cautioned that the U.S. plants approved for export must not export
any beef from cattle processed (i.e., slaughtered) prior to July 27.
Finally, they highlighted two points in the letter passed to Berman
referring to requests made to the USG at the time of the initial
December 2005 lifting of the ban on U.S. beef imports: first, that

TOKYO 00004212 002 OF 002


the USG not scale back its BSE surveillance program and, second,
that the USG close alleged loopholes in its feed ban that might
allow for BSE contamination of U.S. cattle.

Schieffer

© Scoop Media

Advertisement - scroll to continue reading
 
 
 
World Headlines

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Join Our Free Newsletter

Subscribe to Scoop’s 'The Catch Up' our free weekly newsletter sent to your inbox every Monday with stories from across our network.