JAPAN - The Japanese government is to relax restrictions on pork imports from Mexico.
The Japan Times reports that imports of Mexican pork are currently limited to meat from six states in the country, following an outbreak of classical swine fever in 2000.
In response to a request from Mexico to allow pork to be imported from all over the country, Japan plans to ease regulations after checking on safety state by state.
Japan also intends to launch talks with Mexico on the expansion of a low-tariff quota for pork imports based on the bilateral economic partnership agreement (EPA) between the two countries.
The issue is expected to be on the agenda at a meeting in Mexico on Friday between Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto.
Such measures could boost pork imports from Mexico, the fourth largest pork supplier to Japan after the United States, Canada and Denmark, and help ease pressure from the United States, which has pressed Japan for tariff reductions on pork imports.
Japan’s restrictions on pork imports from Mexico have been in place since October 2000.
Under the EPA with Mexico, which took effect in 2005, Japan has set a quota on pork imports for which reduced tariffs are applied.
The quota is set to be expanded in stages from 38,000 tons in the first year to 90,000 tons in fiscal 2016. Quotas for fiscal 2017 and later have yet to be set.
Find out more information on hog cholera (classical swine fever) by clicking here.
TheMeatSite News Desk