Japan has agreed to resume imports of heat-treated poultry meat from China on the condition that Chinese processing plants meet Japan’s hygiene standards, a Japanese agriculture official has said.

Japan introduced a ban on imports of all poultry and poultry products from China last month following an outbreak of bird flu in China.

Japanese ministry official Hirofumi Kugita said that Japanese and Chinese officials are to discuss details of the heat treatment process and health standards before Japanese officials visit China to inspect certain poultry processing plants, reported Dow Jones International News.

Once Japan is satisfied that its standards have been implemented it will allow imports of heat-treated chicken meat, partially lifting its poultry import ban.

Japan has also reached a similar agreement with Thailand. Around 98% of processed chicken products consumed in Japan come from China and Thailand.