I met with Japanese Ambassador Ryozo Kato this morning to receive a direct briefing on the resumption of U.S. beef imports. Japan’s ban on U.S. beef adversely impacted Nebraska producers, who have suffered $850 million in lost beef sales since the ban began in 2003. Ambassador Kato assured me today that following the recent inspections of U.S. production plants, U.S. beef shipments are good to go, which is great news for beef producers in my state and across the country. He told me that it is Japan’s wish to see beef trade between our countries remain on stable ground in the future. He also mentioned that he’s been serving and enjoying US beef throughout this ordeal.

I’ve been in communications with Ambassador Kato for some time now, working together to reopen this important agricultural trade. I’m pleased with this latest progress and look forward to quickly resuming a strong beef trade between our two countries. U.S. beef is the best and safest in the world. There is no reason we shouldn’t be allowed to get back to where we were before the trade ban was originally instituted in 2003.