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From: TSS (
Subject: Diplomatic pressure DOES not influence Japan on USA BSe, NO date set
Date: January 31, 2005 at 6:07 am PST

-------- Original Message --------
Subject: Diplomatic pressure DOES not influence Japan on USA BSe, NO date set
Date: Sun, 30 Jan 2005 15:00:32 -0600
From: "Terry S. Singeltary Sr."
Reply-To: Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy

##################### Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy #####################

Release No. 0031.05
USDA Press Office (202) 720-4623

Transcript Of Gaggle With Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns After
Meeting With Japanese Ambassador Ryozo Kato -Washington, D.C. -- January
27, 2005

SEC. MIKE JOHANNS: "I did meet with the ambassador from Japan this
morning, and so because of the importance of the beef issue I just
wanted to offer a few thoughts about the meeting.

"First and foremost, I want to express my appreciation to the
Ambassador. He wrote me immediately upon my confirmation. He stopped
over today, and that's how you create a good working relationship. And I
expressed that to him.

"I also expressed to him my appreciation for our past working
relationship. As Governor of a midwestern state I was very, very pleased
to have major investment from Japan in our state. Kawasaki would be a
good example. They just celebrated their 30th anniversary.

"And so I expressed to him that our working relationship with Japan and
the business community had been, indeed, very positive through the years.

"In that vein though, I told him that there was an issue that we just
needed to immediately address and get behind us. And that was the beef
trade issue.

"I very specifically requested of the Ambassador that a date certain be
set for the resumption of beef trade, and I indicated to him that I
would do everything I could from my standpoint to accomplish the goal of
beef trading in Japan.

"I went so far as to say if that necessitated a team here working 24/7,
I would make sure that that happened and that was in place.

"I also expressed to him that at my confirmation hearing it did not
matter which side of the table was asking the questions -- it was
absolutely unified and unanimous, and question after question after
question was, 'Governor Johanns, what are you going to do to resume
trade with Japan?' And I said to him, that underscores the enormous, the
importance of this issue.

"And I indicated to him that it turned out to be not so much a
confirmation hearing as an airing of frustration about the need to move
this issue forward.

"I do want to emphasize today that I see this as one step, a very
important step, because I believe it established a candid working
relationship between myself and the Ambassador. And I welcome that.

"But I just want people to know that I will continue to do all I can
with the highest levels of governments to assist you."

REPORTER: "What was the Ambassador's response when you asked him to set
a date for the resumption of trade?"

SEC. JOHANNS: "I would offer this. The Ambassador's response, I believe,
was along the lines of, 'we understand the importance of this issue,
we're going to do everything we can.'

"Needless to say, he did not come prepared to say the date will be
February 1 or February 15th. But I certainly felt the willingness to
work with us and to get this behind us. We both expressed that."

REPORTER: "Did he address the situation we're in with Canada and whether
or not opening the border --"

SEC. JOHANNS: "Canada did not come up in our discussions."

REPORTER: "In your opinion, do you get the feeling this could be
accomplished within the next days, weeks, months?"

SEC. JOHANNS: "You know, I wish I could say this is the date. I
expressed my strong, strong desire to agree upon a date, a date that is
certain that we can work off. So that's kind of where we're at. Okay?"

REPORTER: "Did you get an indication of when he would respond to that

SEC. JOHANNS: "I'm confident that he will express my desires immediately
to his government. I'm confident that that will occur today."!ut/p/_s.7_0_A/7_0_1OB?contentidonly=true&contentid=2005/01/0031.xml

JPN will not set date for US beef

Japan says no plan to set date for US beef imports

TOKYO, Jan 28 (Reuters) - Japan has no plans to set a specific date to
resume U.S. beef imports, Japanese officials said on Friday, rejecting
calls by Washington for a quick resolution to the year-long trade dispute.

Japan has banned U.S. beef imports since December 2003 after the
discovery of a case of mad cow disease in Washington state.

In October, the two countries agreed to resume shipments of beef from
animals that were less than 21 months old, which are considered to be at
low risk from the brain wasting disease.

But there have been no shipments as both countries are still trying to
work out ways to ensure that beef from older cattle will not be sold in

U.S. Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns, who was sworn into office last
week, has said resuming the beef trade is his top priority and he has
asked Tokyo to set date for a restart.

Japan, which has had several of its own cases of mad cow disease, says
more scientific study is needed to be able to assure consumers that U.S.
beef is safe to eat.

"It's not a matter that should be done by setting a specific date,"
Agriculture Minister Yoshinobu Shimamura told reporters on Friday,
according to a ministry official.

Until the ban, Japan was the leading market for American beef exports,
taking about $1.4 billion worth in 2003.

Johanns, who met Japanese Ambassador Ryozo Kato in Washington on
Thursday, told reporters: "I specifically requested to the ambassador
that a day be set for the resumption of beef trade."

A Japanese Agriculture Ministry official said the diplomatic pressure
would not influence Tokyo's position.

"Even if Japan resumes imports, Japanese consumers will not buy American
beef if they are not convinced that it is safe," said the official, who
declined to be identified.

U.S. and Japanese scientists have yet to agree on a method of
guaranteeing the age of cattle use for meat.

All cattle in Japan are tested for mad cow disease, although this system
is now being reviewed. The United States rejected Japan's request for
blanket testing of cattle.


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