Beef from Japan, one of the world's biggest meat importers, is likely to start appearing on the menus of a small number of pricey restaurants in the United States by this summer.
The exports will be the first by Japan to the United States, the world's biggest beef producer, in more than 20 years.
The Health Ministry said today it has provided local governments with details on cutting and inspection methods which will allow slaughterhouses to meet U.S. standards.
Three slaughterhouses are ready to apply for approval. The three, supported financially by the Agriculture Ministry, have already rebuilt facilities to meet U.S. standards.