We had expected that the government would lift a ban on U.S. beef after checking U.S. meatpacking plants by themselves.
The risk would be very low, if proper precautions are strictly followed, ... And even if imports are resumed, we must consider halting (imports) once again if those conditions are not met.
If U.S. beef shipments to Japan will come from a limited number of facilities, we can easily check their safety. But if not, it would be very difficult to do so.
We concluded that with regard to the risk of mad cow disease, the difference between Japanese beef and meat from American cattle aged 20 months or below is very small.
I hope we can have a discussion based on a draft report at the next meeting.
We are in the final stage of wrapping up our discussion,
I did not expect the latest incident to happen as I had believed the Japanese government would conduct inspections and make sure (that the conditions for beef imports were sufficiently met) before the actual importing.
In today's meeting we were not able to reach an agreement,
I did not want to make a conclusion today and tell those who were absent to accept it.