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
Oct. 4, 2017 - On September 12, APHIS published a final rule allowing the import of Japanese persimmons. APHIS scientists prepared a pest risk analysis and determined that commercial shipments of persimmons with calyxes produced under a systems approach can safely be imported into the continental United States. The systems approach includes requirements for packing house registration, orchard monitoring and control of pests, fruit culling, biometric sampling, a phytosanitary certificate with additional declaration, port of entry inspection, and traceback. These measures will protect the United States against the introduction of plant pests. The rule will take effect on October 12, 2017.
Oct. 3, 2017 - On September 12, Japan’s Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF) announced the lifting of restrictions for Idaho potatoes. The restrictions were put in place over 10 years ago due to the detection of potato cyst nematode (PCN). APHIS and the U.S. potato industry have spent the subsequent years working to address MAFF’s concerns about PCN, which MAFF now has to address domestically following the 2016 announcement of the detection of PCN on the potato-producing island of Hokkaido. With the restrictions lifted, APHIS will focus on additional issues to continue to expand access for U.S. potatoes. U.S. potato exports to Japan have previously averaged $10 million a year without potatoes from the largest producing State in the United States.