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Japan eases US trade relations


Japan informed a dispute-settlement meeting at the World Trade Organisation (WTO) this week that it had reached a final agreement with the United States over changes to its quarantine system for apples and some other agricultural imports, trade sources said, Kyodo reports. Following the agreement, Japan will change its regulations to introduce a new quarantine system, putting an end to all WTO disputes between Tokyo and Washington over Japanese quarantine practices, they said.The U.S. filed a complaint with the world trade watchdog in April 1997, claiming Japan's quarantine system constituted a trade barrier. The system required exporters to submit scientific data for each variety of apples, cherries and other farm products. In March 1999, the WTO sided with the U.S. and demanded that Tokyo simplify its quarantine system.Japan plans to introduce a system in which exporters will be allowed to apply the data approved for one variety to other varieties as well.

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