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Yoshi Tsuchiya Answers Questions: Exporting Beef To Japan

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Bull Burger

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Cattle Seat: Yoshi Tsuchiya Answers Questions About Exporting Beef To Japan




Does Japan Need To Import Food?

Yes, Japan needs to import approximately 60% of its calories from other countries.





Does Japan Need The United States To Supply Them With Food?

Japan currently imports a large portion of food; and this deficiency must be met by a supply from other countries





What Were The Top Selling Beef Items In Japan?
Tongue, short plates, short ribs, intestines, chuck rolls, and some high quality loins.


What Are The Japanese Regulatory Bodies Involved With Re-Opening Of The Border?
MAFF (Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, and Fishery)
MHLW (Ministry of Health, Labor, and Welfare)


(**FSC is an independent organization that has historically been given the opportunity to provide a technical/scientific evaluation on any matters regarding food by the two ministries listed above. Technically, FSC doesn't have direct authority with regards to writing or enacting legislation, but they are always involved in the process.)





What Is The Japanese Consumers’ Perception Of US Beef?
I do not remember the precise statistics-- but as of six months ago, consumer polling indicated that only 20% would eat US beef if it were allowed back in the country.


However, last month, on the anniversary of the day that they stopped selling the product the year prior--the Yoshinoya Restaurant sold over 1.5 million beef bowls. The Yoshinoya Restaurant is one of the strongest US beef supporters and has suffered severely from the lack of US been in Japan.


Furthermore, over one million individuals signed a petition in Japan, http://www.kaikin.jp/, requesting that the border to US beef be reopened.





What Is A Beef Bowl?

It is a traditional Japanese entrée with beef, fresh onions, herbs and spices, on a bed of steaming, fluffy rice. See http://www.yoshinoyausa.com/menu.html




Is The Japanese Market Aware Of The Difference Between Australian And U.S. Beef?

Yes, primarily due to product labeling. Recently, there has been an increase in complaints associated with the tough texture and high price tag associated with Australian beef. The majority of Australian beef exported to Japan is grass fed. Only an average of 130,000 head/ week of grain fed product is exported to Japan from Australia. However, the Japanese consumer prefers highly marbled, grain fed product—thus, a major deficiency in the supply for grain fed product continues in the Japanese market.





How Many Cases Of BSE Have Been In Japan?

Japan has had 15 confirmed cases of BSE. (http://www.mhlw.go.jp/houdou/0110/h1018-6.html




Why Has Japan Had So Many Cases Of BSE?

The Japanese livestock industry relies heavily on foreign countries for feedstuffs; thus, Japan has had to import feedstuffs and feed ingredients. It is thought that Meat and Bonemeal imported from Europe was highly contaminated with the BSE prion and this caused the spread of the disease to cattle in Japan.





If You Had Another BSE Case In Japan, Would The Average Japanese Consumer Really Care?

You would probably not see a response, as most people believe the blanket BSE testing that is conducted in Japan is the golden safe guard against BSE.



What's The Big Deal Then If We Have A Case In The United States? Aren't The Japanese Consumers Immune?

The Japanese consumer does not like the absence of the BSE testing on every animal.



Does The Average Japanese Consumer Really Know The Difference Between BSE Testing Procedures Between Countries?

They do not know the specifics, they just know that the US does not conduct blanket BSE testing across all cattle of all ages and that Japan does.




What Sequence Of Events Must Occur With Japanese Policy Before Trade With The U.S. Can Resume?

a) The “blanket BSE testing” policy must be modified. Currently, Japanese law requires that 100% of cattle (regardless of age) must be tested at harvest for BSE. This law must be modified to eliminate the domestic policy testing requirement for cattle under 20 months of age. In order for this modification in Japanese law to occur, MAFF and MHLW must go through the following required steps. (Currently the Japanese are at step number three.)
(1) Modify the 100% BSE testing law
(2) Conduct Risk Communication Meetings with consumers regarding the intent to change the law. Usually they conduct approximately ten meetings, but for this policy change they conducted approximately fifty separate meetings nationwide. The purpose of these meetings is for the Japanese government to communicate, educate and determine the impact the policy change will have on consumer confidence

(3) Ask the Food Safety Commission (FSC) to assess this modified law to approve the measure from a food safety perspective. FSC must formally accept the policy and provide an answer.

(4) After step three is complete, and the law modified, the USDA and MAFF have to agree, finalize and publish the new trade rule. This then has to be assessed by FSC. Then they will hold approximately 10 additional Risk Communication meetings and allow the public to comment on the new trade rule prior to moving to step five.

(5) If FSC's answer is "move forward with the policy change", MAFF and MHLW must then send the revised law to the Diet for approval.
(6) If it is approved by the Diet, the law will be published and communicated to the Japanese public.
(7) A Public Comment period follows and then the law is enacted.



It looks like one more FSC meeting this month will finalize their assessment process. All communications indicate the FSC will approve the removal of the 100% testing policy.



GOOD NEWS--the FSC has established a risk assessment process. Therefore, if the USDA can provide sufficient evidence then this is no longer a time consuming issue.


NEW CONCERN--the GAO released a warning over the lack of inspection and follow-up by the FDA following their feed ban rule. This warning has now hit the Japanese media. Furthermore, just this week the Japanese government asked the US if they were ready to import Japanese beef if the new trade rule is written. If the conflict regarding the Canadian border issue and the ability to import from a low risk country is not resolved, this could again cause pause with the Japanese government.




Why Has The FCS’S Assessment Taken So Long?

Ironically, U.S. debate between R-Calf and the USDA over the “low risk country” rule has slowed the FCS’s process. R-Calf's response to Canadian imports reminds me of how the Japanese reacted following their finding of their first case of BSE. For example, R-Calf states that Canada's testing is not equivalent to the U.S.; likewise, the Japanese consumer's worries that the U.S. is of higher risk since their testing is not the same as Japan's. R-Calf accuses the USDA of not looking out for the consumer’s best interest and the Japanese consumer accused their government of the same behavior. If R-Calf continues to make this point in the media, it gives the Japanese consumer more reason to want the import ban to stay in place and puts added pressure on the Japanese government to comply.





R-Calf Seems To Be Taking Blame Recently. But, Is That Fair? We Also Heard That Hosoda Is Fed Up With U.S. Pressure. It Appears That Japan Wants To Be On Their Timeline And Not Be Bothered?

The R-Calf resistance to opening the Canadian border has simply complicated the issue with Japan—it isn’t helping.



No one welcomes excess pressure.



Does It Matter To The Japanese Consumer If The United States Resumes Trade With Canada?

As long as Canadian products are completely segregated and verified, it doesn't matter.



There Is An Obvious Sense Of Urgency On The American Side To Resume Trade. Is There Any Urgency On The Japanese Side ?

A Japanese Think Tank estimated that the U.S. beef ban in 2004 cost the Japanese economy approximately $2.2 billion (US dollars). Ten percent of Japanese BBQ restaurant’s have gone out of business due to the shortage .



However, having said this, Japan was successful in supplying consumers with 99% of the protein tonnage that they had consumed in 2003, even with the import bans due to BSE and Avian Influenza.




What Must We Do To Get This Thing Resolved?

Japan must change government policy and consumer's perception regarding their blanket BSE testing law.




Why Can’t We Just Threaten Not To Buy Japanese Radios Or Cars? Why Don’t We Have More Bargaining Power If You Need To Import Food And We Are Such A Large Consumer Of Japanese Goods?

Threatening is one of the tactics of international trade negotiations; regardless of whether people agree with this tactic or not. However, using this type of negotiation only seems to slow positive discussions between the two countries, and with progress being made-- now is not the time to threaten-- from my perspective.





When Can We Expect To Ship Beef?

If everything goes well with the timeline established above, the estimate is the end of June, July or August.


http://www.cattlenetwork.com/content.asp?contentid=4283


-
 

rancher

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"When Can We Expect To Ship Beef?

If everything goes well with the timeline established above, the estimate is the end of June, July or August. "

HMMMM


Japan ban on U.S. beef to remain




TOKYO, Mar 19, 2005 (United Press International via COMTEX) -- A visit to Japan Saturday by U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice apparently did not resolve the two nation's dispute about the safety of U.S. beef.

Tokyo banned imports of U.S. beef in 2003 over health concerns that Washington says are overblown, the Kyodo news service reported reported.

Japanese Foreign Minister Nobutaka Machimura, during his talks with Rice, said he fully understands the "deep interest" of the United States in the issue, but he could not clearly say when Japan can come up with a conclusion.

"We must deal with the issue appropriately to make sure the problem would not mar Japan-U.S. relations," Machimura said.

The United States wants Japan to quickly follow up on an agreement reached in October for Japan to resume imports of U.S. beef from cattle aged 20 months or younger.

Although several months have passed, Japan continues to argue the safety of U.S. beef from younger cattle has not been scientifically verified by Japan's Food Safety Commission.
 
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Does It Matter To The Japanese Consumer If The United States Resumes Trade With Canada?

As long as Canadian products are completely segregated and verified, it doesn't matter.

-------------------------------

Interesting! That is one of the concerns I've been told that Japan has had all along- they question the USDA's ability to guarantee that the Canadian beef is segregated out.....

Since USDA keeps saying that its impossible to segregate beef for MCOOL and US consumers, the Japanese have lost faith...
 

whiteface

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And yet as I understand it (although no, I do not have anything to "cut and paste" to "prove it" right now) with our more advanced traceback than the U.S. and testing of 4D cows, I'm led to believe through various readings that the Janpaneese are moving more in Canada's direction than the U.S. But Japan still wants the meat from the two countries segregated? Why? Would this be as Sandhusker described an "excuse" or what am I missing. Who's being dishonest or not providing the whole story here? Our government, yours or theirs? Or just the media to sell papers and keep us all fighting amongst ourselves. I'd just like some real answers as to what it would take, really, to get these markets (U.S. and Japan) open again or should we just quit even thinking of whipping any dead horses. I know the U.S. is loving their prices right now but none of you saner cowboys know that either of these border closures can go on much longer without some major job losses and economical fallouts (not simply hopeing insane calf prices will simply keep climbing...they just won't, markets don't operate like that indefinatly). So what is it????!!! Segregate, label, we each ship to Japan separatley or one of us does and not the other. What's really the story, I'd like to know. Have a good day from Canada!
 
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Yoshi: "If R-Calf continues to make this point in the media, it gives the Japanese consumer more reason to want the import ban to stay in place and puts added pressure on the Japanese government to comply."

Yoshi: "The R-Calf resistance to opening the Canadian border has simply complicated the issue with Japan—it isn’t helping."

IMAGINE THAT?????

Meanwhile R-CULT's warriors lie to the contrary suggesting that opening the border to Canada would complicate trade to Japan.

Like I said before, nobody is fooled by R-CULT's lies but themselves.



~SH~
 

Sandhusker

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~SH~ said:
Yoshi: "If R-Calf continues to make this point in the media, it gives the Japanese consumer more reason to want the import ban to stay in place and puts added pressure on the Japanese government to comply."

Yoshi: "The R-Calf resistance to opening the Canadian border has simply complicated the issue with Japan—it isn’t helping."

IMAGINE THAT?????

Meanwhile R-CULT's warriors lie to the contrary suggesting that opening the border to Canada would complicate trade to Japan.

Like I said before, nobody is fooled by R-CULT's lies but themselves.



~SH~

"As long as Canadian products are completely segregated and verified, it doesn't matter. "

Seems to me R-CALF has been wanting to segregate Canadian products for quite a while now. Who is fighting that? Yoshi claims they want Canadian products segregated, R-CALF wants Canadian products segregated. But, I guess R-CALF is lying again... :roll:
 

Sandhusker

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"If You Had Another BSE Case In Japan, Would The Average Japanese Consumer Really Care?

You would probably not see a response, as most people believe the blanket BSE testing that is conducted in Japan is the golden safe guard against BSE.


What's The Big Deal Then If We Have A Case In The United States? Aren't The Japanese Consumers Immune?

The Japanese consumer does not like the absence of the BSE testing on every animal.


Does The Average Japanese Consumer Really Know The Difference Between BSE Testing Procedures Between Countries?

They do not know the specifics, they just know that the US does not conduct blanket BSE testing across all cattle of all ages and that Japan does.

Response: You think we can learn something here about how the Japanese consumers view testing? Strange, I didn't see the word "deception" any place.... :wink:
 

Tam

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Looks to me is if R-CALF would shut up and quit feeding the Japanese consumers reasons to fear your beef industry the process would go along much smoother. But R-CALF isn't hurting consumer confidence are they. :roll:

Time to face the music boys the Japanese aren't ignorant to your little thorn in the side group and they are paying attention to the stories these guys are spouting. R-CALF is costing you an easy resolve to the Japanese export ban. and closures to packing plants and loses in the job market and money from your pockets because of the lack of exports. Way to go R-CALF. Let's have another fund raiser. :wink:

And I thought the Canadian cattle imported into the U.S. under the new rule were to be marked and tagged so why couldn't that answer the Japanese concerns about keeping the meat segergated or again is this something your industry can't do. O well Canada should be able to we seem to be able to do things that the US beef industry can't. :)
 

rancher

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Tam, would you care to tell us how why Canada doesn't have Japan all sewed up. It seems if Japan wants us to open our border to you before they take our beef that they would just forget us and go straight to you. Where are all the news reports of how close Japan is to taking Canadian beef as we read on USA and Japan? Are you just letting us do the work for you?
 

Sandhusker

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Tam, would you rather R-CALF roll over and allow the USDA to do the AMI's bidding as in the past?
 

Tam

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Sandhusker said:
Tam, would you rather R-CALF roll over and allow the USDA to do the AMI's bidding as in the past?

No I except R-CALF to come clean and tell the US consumers that they are doing this to protect their high cattle prices, and this is a way for them to elimitate competition so the US packers have to deal only with US ranchers when buying cattle. Telling the consumers that Canadian beef is not save and presents a genuine risk of death to them while R-CALFs largest finanicial contributors are in Canada buying cattle flies in the face of logic. Leo McDonnell defending his contributors right to buy Canadian cattle also flies in the face of logic if he really believes what comes out of his own month. This may be a new concept for you but tell the Consumers the truth and let them decide. You say they have the right to know where there beef comes from so don't they deserve to know the really reason R-CALF is against the border openning. Come on Sandhusker speak the true for once and tell the Consumers the really reasons behind this court case. They have a right to know.
 

Tam

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rancher said:
Tam, would you care to tell us how why Canada doesn't have Japan all sewed up. It seems if Japan wants us to open our border to you before they take our beef that they would just forget us and go straight to you. Where are all the news reports of how close Japan is to taking Canadian beef as we read on USA and Japan? Are you just letting us do the work for you?

When has the US media ever picked up on any good news coming out of Canada? Have you read any news reports on the 69 countries that are taking Canadian beef? They are to buzy covering the bigger dog and pony show going on in the US.to care about what is going on in Canada. As far as we hear in Canada we are closer to a deal with Japan than the US because of our investigative abilities. But I guess time will tell. Japan told both the US and Canada they would not take eithers beef until we were trading and so far they have held true to that satement haven't they.
 

Tam

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Hat said:
Japan told both the US and Canada they would not take eithers beef until we were trading and so far they have held true to that satement haven't they.


Would anyone like to provide an official document to back this up? Everyday a different Canuck states this but not one can back it up. It's pure hogwash and you all know it.

This is funny coming from a person that takes R-CALF hearsay hogwash as fact and lives by it. :lol: Does R-CALF provide you with official statement from a creditable source to prove what they are spewing. And I want a more creditable source than Leo McDonnell as he sees nothing ironic about staunch R-CALF supports buying Canadian cattle after BSE was discovered. He doesn't even see that them doing it could discredit the story about Canadian beef being unsafe.

Tam the consumers don't give a damn why R-Calf keeps the border closed all we have to do is tell them we are protecting them from the possibility of importing BSE from a known BSE country.

So you are saying R-CALF is lying to them and the consumer don't give a damn.

.R-CALF was getting nowhere with there first stories about protecting your cattle prices and that is why they brought Food Safety issues and the Anti Beef groups in. As they figured more would back them if they could convince them their health was at risk. How will you protect them from the Canadian cattle that are already there and how will you protect them from your herd when BSE is found. Will your science, safeguards, firewalls and compliance records suddenly change. With everything R-CALF has said you better hope your consumers weren't paying attention. and that they won't pay any attention to the big compaignes the PETA will be putting out if BSE is found. Want to bet that PETA and the rest of the anti beef groups will be quoting R-CALF statements about Canadian beef to kill consumer confidence in your beef?
 

whiteface

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Hat, why isn't Japan taking your beef yet? Or ours for that matter if you know the answer. We have age verifiable and traceback, you have no domestic case of BSE (bear with me Canada!). Niether of us have swapped cattle for couple of years, so no recent mixing of herds, what is your best answer for why they aren't taking either of our beef. I'll even take your best answer for why they don't take yours. Don't give me a bunch of BS, I asked you a fair, sane question nicely, what can you come up with? Have a good day from Canada.
 

rancher

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Tam, look at # 13 and the date.

http://tokyo.usembassy.gov/e/p/tp-20050304-71.html
 

Murgen

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Rancher, I took a look at #13. Remember these questions and answers were written by the US Embassy, which assumes Canadian meat in the US system might be a problem to the Japanese consumer. I'd like to see a list of questions written by Japan.
 

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After reading what these R-calfers have as excuses I think we should line them and kick them as hard as we can in the &alls. Opps forgot they dont have any! :eek:
 

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Manitoba Rancher, you are more crude than Nebrusker.
 

Mike

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rancher said:
Manitoba Rancher, you are more crude than Nebrusker.

He misses Nebrusker. I miss him too! Nebrusker gave some on here a place to vent and the rest don't mind it.

We should ask for another room just for those types of silly crude remarks and we wouldn't have to sift through them. A waste of disk space.
 
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Anonymous

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R-CULT: "Seems to me R-CALF has been wanting to segregate Canadian products for quite a while now. Who is fighting that? Yoshi claims they want Canadian products segregated, R-CALF wants Canadian products segregated. But, I guess R-CALF is lying again..."

R-CULT's words supporting traceback is nothing but "LIP SERVICE"!!!!

R-CULT prohibited "M"ID from "M"COOL.

That will stand as their official position on "M"ID.

You keep creating the "ILLUSION" that it never happened. Hide from your chosen organizations blatant hypocrisy on traceback.



~SH~
 

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