The United States will restart importing beef from Japan this month, ending a two-year suspension after foot-and-mouth disease was found in Japanese cows, the farm ministry in Tokyo said. Reuters reports that the imports will resume on August 17.

"The United States (will) resume imports from Japan from Aug. 17 onwards, acknowledging that (Japan) is clean from foot-and-mouth disease," the ministry said.

The value of Japan's beef exports to the United States was 1.08 billion yen ($13.74 million) in 2007, but fell to 210 million yen in 2010 when imports were suspended, the Yomiuri newspaper said.

Japan is expected to relax restrictions on imports of U.S. beef as early as November to make it easier for Tokyo to take part in Washington-led trans-Pacific free trade talks, the Nikkei business daily said last month.

Source: Reuters