U.S. pressures Japan to resume beef imports

The U.S. annual trade report submitted to the U.S. Congress by President George W. Bush on March 1 stated that the U.S. government will take "all appropriate steps" to force Japan to open its market to U.S. beef.

Akahata on March 3 pointed out that the U.S. government deliberately ignores Japan's domestic measures in pressuring Japan to lift the ban on U.S. beef imports and criticized the U.S. government for infringing on Japan's sovereignty.

A Japanese government panel is discussing what kind of measures the government should take to deal with BSE issues, including revising domestic policy to screen all cows. Panel members are calling for careful discussion from scientific points of view because Japan's first case of a citizen infected with variant Creuzfeldt-Jakob disease and the 15th cow with mad cow disease were confirmed recently.

After reaching a conclusion on domestic measures, the panel will discuss the evaluation procedure of U.S. beef.

Akahata stressed that the Japanese government must not give in to the U.S. government pressure. (end)

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