For the first time in 20 years, Japan has opened its doors to Canadian processed beef again. Japan, like many other nations, restricted imports of Canadian beef after the 2003 discovery in the province of Alberta of a suspected case of Bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) disease while importing countries have gradually eliminated the restrictions, and Japan’s latest step lifts its remaining restrictions, which affected processed Canadian beef.
The lifting of the ban follows lots of efforts by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency and Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, to uphold the highest production standards and quality assurance of Canadian beef in order to reopen full access in key markets like Japan. According to Statistics Canada data, Japan remains its second-largest beef and veal export market as of January 2023. Japan’s lifting of restrictions comes as it is scheduled to reduce tariffs on beef imports starting April 1, under the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership, a trade pact of which Canada is a member.