The staff of the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) at the United States Embassy in Tokyo, in conjunction with our colleagues at the Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) Tokyo office, represent the interests of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) in Japan.
Growing agricultural trade between the United States and Japan has created a vital role for APHIS ensuring that new trade opportunities are realized and that existing trade between the two economies flows smoothly. The APHIS Tokyo office maintains technical working relationships with our Japanese counterparts to resolve Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) issues whenever they arise. This relationship contributes to maintaining the success of agricultural trade-related commercial activities between the two economies, helping ensure they thrive.
In addition, our office maintains direct contact with industry trade groups, importers and exporters in order to assist and facilitate resolution of trade-related issues as they occur at Japanese ports of entry.
Finally, as a principle role of APHIS is to make sure the United States and our trading partners adhere to the SPS rules set forth by the World Trade Organization (WTO), as well as the other relevant international standards-setting organizations, APHIS' role will continue to increase as the United States and Japan continue to expand their current trade relationships and establish new partnerships into the foreseeable future.
The Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service is a multifaceted Agency with a broad mission area that includes protecting and promoting U.S. agricultural health, regulating genetically engineered organisms, administering the Animal Welfare Act and carrying out wildlife damage management activities. These efforts support the overall mission of USDA, which is to protect and promote food, agriculture, natural resources and related issues.
Darya Chehrezad, Asst. Regional Manager
Countries of Responsibility: Japan
Dec. 15, 2017 - On November 6-7, APHIS joined USDA-FSIS, AMS, and FAS for a teleconference with Japan’s Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries (MAFF) and Ministry of Health, Labor, and Welfare (MHLW) designed to reach agreement on criteria to allow exports of U.S. ovine and caprine meat to Japan to resume. Japan had prohibited these exports since bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) was first detected in the United States. APHIS and MAFF have discussed the animal health requirements for ovine and caprine meat for some time, including at the most recent annual animal health bilateral meeting. During the call, both USDA and MAFF tentatively agreed to all but one point in the draft protocol, with the remaining point requiring USDA to first complete a protocol with MHLW. Once that is done, USDA and MAFF are expected to finalize the animal health protocol that was the primary focus of these meetings and then work to finalize the export certificates. U.S. ovine and caprine meat was identified by the USG as a priority for resolution under the recently established U.S.-Japan Economic Dialogue.
Nov. 7, 2017 - In October, APHIS and Japan finalized amendments to a protocol allowing spray dried chicken powder to be exported to Japan for the manufacture of pet food. These amendments allow other types of poultry (such as turkey) to be utilized. The market had been closed since Japan first detected bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) domestically and imposed a world-wide ban. Japan had previously agreed to open the market but only for powders derived from chicken. While the protocol amendments have been finalized to allow the other poultry powders, exports cannot begin until Japan approves the export certificate, which they are now reviewing.