The governments of both countries have been discussing the possibility for Japan to supply beef to the Philippines since 2004, but this has been subject to certain animal health conditions.
"The discussion has recently been finalised and the Philippine Government has finally approved the importation of Japanese beef from Japan," read the official statement.
The trade agreement is subject to a number of conditions, including the ‘exclusion of Specified Risk Material (SRM)’, and the animals must be slaughtered without the use of pithing or stunning with a device injecting compressed air or gas into the cranial cavity of the animal. The cattle must also have been slaughtered and prepared in accredited establishments by the Philippines.
The five accredited establishments in Japan are: Hida Meat Center and Hida Meat Agricultural cooperatives; Shiga Meat Center; Miyachiku Corporation’s Tsuno Plant; Minami Kyushu Chikusan Kogyo Corporation; and Akune Meat Distribution Center Co and Starzan Meat Processor Co’s Akune Plant.
Local governments and the Animal Quarantine Service of Japan (AQS) will start issuing the corresponding certificates, which are required to be accompanied with the beef after the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF) and Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare (MHLW) inform the local governments and AQS, said the Embassy.
Earlier this month export data from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) revealed that volume exports of beef from the US to Japan were up 53% to 15,655mt, with value increasing by 28% to $92.9m.