Japan weighs lifting ban on chicken imports from Russia
According to the sources, Tokyo will only lift the ban on certain areas of the country where the risk of disease is low.
In May this year, the Japanese ministry of agriculture asked a panel of experts to discuss whether Tokyo should lift the ban. According to the sources, Tula and Bryansk in western Russia are subject to possible removal from the import ban.
The issue is part of a broader discussion on expanding the meat trade between the two countries.
The Japanese government's top spokesperson Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said at the same day's press conference that the two countries are working on "a series of issues" but declined to comment on whether Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Russian President Vladimir Putin would reach any agreement at their meeting in Osaka on Saturday.
According to the farm ministry, as of March, Japan has imported about 550,000 tons of chicken, about 70 percent of which came from Brazil and 20 percent from Thailand.
Japan is currently suspending the import of chicken meat from 57 countries and regions to prevent the bird flu virus from entering the country, according to the ministry of agriculture, forestry and fisheries. ■