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Japan Sees Progress Toward End to China Beef Ban in High-level Talks

15 April 2019

JAPAN - Japan and China agreed during their high-level economic dialogue Sunday on steps that could pave the way for the lifting of a prolonged ban on Japanese beef by Beijing, in the latest sign of a recent improvement in ties between the Asian powers.

The one-day ministerial meeting, co-chaired by Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono and his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi, dealt with a range of economic issues, including Beijing's intellectual property theft that has developed into a tit-for-tat tariff war between the United States and China.

"We have voiced the Japanese side's concerns over forced technology transfers and over the protection of intellectual property rights," Kono told reporters after the gathering at the Diaoyutai State Guesthouse in Beijing.

But he said the two countries broadly agreed to sign a quarantine pact that is a precondition to bringing an end to China's import ban on Japanese beef, imposed in 2001 when the first Japanese case of mad cow disease was detected.

"It's an important step" toward lifting the ban, Kono said, noting the pact would be signed "soon" without giving a concrete timeline.

The economic dialogue, the first to be held in China since 2010, came about two months before Chinese President Xi Jinping's possible visit to Japan when it hosts this year's summit of Group of 20 major economies in Osaka. If realized it will be Xi's first visit to the country since coming to power in 2013.

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Source: Nikkei Asian Review

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