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Japan-U.S. beef talks set for Tuesday, Wednesday, not Monday: USDA+
[March 23, 2006]

Japan-U.S. beef talks set for Tuesday, Wednesday, not Monday: USDA+

(Japan Economic Newswire Via Thomson Dialog NewsEdge)WASHINGTON, March 23_(Kyodo) _ Japan and the United States will hold a technical meeting in Tokyo next Tuesday and Wednesday, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said Thursday, correcting its earlier announcement that it will be held next Monday.

The USDA had said Wednesday that it will send a technical team to Tokyo for the talks on Monday to "answer questions and press for the reopening of the Japanese market."

The team will be led as announced Wednesday by Chuck Lambert, acting agriculture undersecretary for marketing and regulatory programs.

Japan again closed its market to U.S. beef on Jan. 20 after a spinal column was discovered in a veal shipment at Narita airport despite a bilateral agreement banning such material to safeguard against mad cow disease.

Over the weekend, the USDA submitted a response to questions from Japan about its earlier investigation report, including corrective measures, on the January incident.

Tokyo had lifted its two-year-old ban on U.S. beef imports only in mid-December last year, on condition that imports would be limited to meat from cattle aged up to 20 months with specified risk materials removed prior to shipping.

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