MIYAZAKI: Tokyo asked the European Union on Friday to abolish its import restrictions on Japanese food introduced in response to the 2011 nuclear accident in Fukushima Prefecture, northeastern Japan.
Agriculture minister Tetsuro Nomura made the request to European Commissioner for Agriculture Janusz Wojciechowski in talks in the southwestern city of Miyazaki.
The talks preceded a two-day meeting of farm ministers from the Group of Seven advanced countries to be held in the city from Saturday.
Nomura also made a similar request to ministers from Germany and Italy, both EU members. The EU is expected to review the restrictions in late June.
Separately, Nomura had talks with US Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack, agreeing to establish a bilateral dialogue to realize sustainable agriculture.
The Japanese agriculture ministry and the US Department of Agriculture will exchange information regularly on ways to promote smart agriculture utilizing information technology and reduce the use of agricultural chemicals.
Nomura and Vilsack affirmed the importance of ensuring G-7 unity to strengthen food security.
He also asked that the United States expand its low-tariff import quota for Japanese beef.