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.
Dr. Karen Sliter, Northern Asia Regional Manager
Countries of Responsibility: Japan
Nov. 19, 2018 - On November 7, the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) formally began examining potential economic effects of a proposed U.S.-Japan free trade agreement (FTA). The ITC announced a public hearing to be held on December 6, where stakeholders will be able to voice their positions on the impact of such a deal. The move follows USTR Robert Lighthizer’s October 26 request that the Commission move “as soon as possible” in beginning its review, reflecting a desire to swiftly establish an FTA in light of the imminent entry-into-force of the Trans-Pacific Parntership, which will give a number of countries preferential access to Japan’s market.
Oct. 16, 2018 - On September 20, APHIS provided Japanese animal health authorities with additional information that Japan had requested regarding the detection of atypical bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) in a cow in Florida. The protocol under which APHIS exports beef from cattle less than 30 months at the age of slaughter requires the United States to share a report following the investigation of any cases of BSE confirmation. In addition, Japan asked additional questions related to the case and the United States’ request for Japan to remove the 30-month age limit on U.S. beef. Now that APHIS has provided this information, it should allow current exports to continue, as Japan continues to consider the APHIS request to remove the 30 month age limit on U.S. beef. In 2017, U.S. beef and beef products exports to Japan reached $1.5 billion.