U.S. Undersecretary of Agriculture J.B. Penn said after a bilateral meeting last weekend that beef exports to Japan could resume as early as within several weeks. But other U.S. officials said they weren't sure on what grounds Penn had made his statement.
Japan has agreed to partly lift its U.S. beef import ban and open its doors to meat produced from calves that are confirmed as 20 months of age or younger. But officials say it will take time to clear obstacles, including allowing Japan to change its beef inspection protocol.