The EU has urged Japan to open up its market to beef from the region, with the bloc expecting some reciprocity for importing Japan's famous Wagyu and Kobe beef.
As reported by RTÉ News, Agriculture Commissioner Phil Hogan told reporters that at present, only a small number of countries in the EU had gained access to the Japanese market.
This is mainly due to the outbreak of mad cow disease, which was eradicated in 2005.
Beef With Japan
"We are intensively working to convince Japan that we have reached the necessary levels of technical and operational criteria to be granted access for the entirety of the European Union as a single entity," Hogan told reporters in Japan.
He said that the EU has shown its goodwill through its importing of Wagyu and Kobe beef, which is something he would like to see repaid.
"The EU expects to see reciprocity once the criteria are fulfilled and we believe there is... full compliance with what is demanded of us from the Japanese side," he said.
Japan blocked all beef imports from the EU in 2000, citing fears of BSE infection (mad cow disease), but has since opened up to imports from Ireland, Austria, Britain, Denmark, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, and Sweden.
The other 19 nations remain affected by the ban.
The EU did reach a free-trade deal with Japan, which Commissioner Hogan called the “envy of the world”.
He also suggested that the deal could act as a template for a potential EU-US accord.
© 2019 Checkout – your source for the latest Irish retail news. Article by Aidan O’Sullivan. Click sign-up to subscribe to Checkout.