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Japan Easing Restrictions on U.S. Beef, Paving Way for Tyson

Japan, Asia’s largest beef importer, will consider taking additional steps after easing restrictions on U.S. shipments, widening opportunities for exporters such as Tyson Foods Inc. while ensuring supply to local retailers.

Japan’s health ministry will relax the age limit on U.S. beef to 30 months from 20 months next year after it receives approval from the nation’s Food Safety Commission as early as this month, according to Hideshi Michino, director at the ministry’s food-safety department. The threshold, imposed to safeguard against mad-cow disease, may be eased further to six years, he said in an interview without giving a timeframe.