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Japanese Expected To Trim Beef Imports

Compiled From Wire Services

Japan, the largest market for U.S. beef, may ease its imports by the turn of the century as its population ages and consumer tastes shift, a Japanese trade official said.

Jiro Shiwaku, president of the Livestock Industry Promotion Corp., a quasi-government agency, told the World Meat Congress Japan’s aging 120 million population is showing an increased preference for fish, chicken and turkey.

“Judging from the rise in consumer orientation toward health and the physique of the Japanese people,” Shiwaku said he expected imports of pork and beef to level off. In a brief interview with reporters, he estimated that could happen by the year 2000.

Currently, Japan’s appetite for red meat, especially beef, continues to soar, and is likely to surge another 33 percent before leveling off, Shiwaku said.

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