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Cablegate: Beef Shipment Violates Japanese Import Rules

VZCZCXRO0278
OO RUEHFK RUEHKSO RUEHNAG RUEHNH
DE RUEHKO #2239 2270840
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 140840Z AUG 08
FM AMEMBASSY TOKYO
TO RUEHRC/DEPT OF AGRICULTURE WASHINGTON DC IMMEDIATE
RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 6597
INFO RUEHBY/AMEMBASSY CANBERRA PRIORITY 2731
RUEHUL/AMEMBASSY SEOUL PRIORITY 0898
RUEHFK/AMCONSUL FUKUOKA PRIORITY 9402
RUEHNAG/AMCONSUL NAGOYA PRIORITY 7562
RUEHNH/AMCONSUL NAHA PRIORITY 1769
RUEHOK/AMCONSUL OSAKA KOBE PRIORITY 3145
RUEHKSO/AMCONSUL SAPPORO PRIORITY 9982

UNCLAS TOKYO 002239

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

STATE PASS TO USTR MBEEMAN, EHOLLOWAY
STATE PASS TO USDA/FAS/OSTA DAWSON

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ETRD EAGR JA
SUBJECT: BEEF SHIPMENT VIOLATES JAPANESE IMPORT RULES

1. (U) The Japanese Government has posted information on the
Agriculture (MAFF) and Health (MHLW) Ministry websites
regarding the latest violation of agreed rules governing U.S.
beef imports. The event consisted of a 4.5 kg package of
uncertified ground beef discovered within a larger 3.8 ton
shipment. The GOJ has announced a halt to shipments from the
responsible plant.

2. (U) A Japanese importer, Japan Food Cooperation, reported
the incident August 7 to Tokyo's Minato Ward Public Health
Center. The shipment of 298 boxes, or approximately 3.8 tons
of frozen beef, entered Japan in late July and a 4.5 kg log
of frozen ground meat was later found to be not listed on the
USDA certificate. The shipment was processed by Cargill Meat
Solutions, Dodge City, Kansas.

3. (SBU) Japanese authorities announced a decision to halt
temporarily all shipments from Cargill Meat Solutions, Dodge
City and have requested, through the Embassy, that the USG
investigate the violation. There is no evidence yet that the
shipment included any high-risk material or represents any
health risk, but the specified package was not listed on the
accompanying USDA certificate. The MHLW and MAFF will
consider further actions once they receive the USG
investigation report and complete their own inquiry.

4. (U) The MAFF website gives more details at:
http://www.maff.go.jp/j/press/syouan/douei/08 0808.html
including a photograph at:
http://www.maff.go.jp/j/press/syouan/douei/pd f/080808-01.pdf
SCHIEFFER

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