A farm ministry official has indicated that Japan will resume imports of Chinese chicken products once the safety of Chinese poultry farms has been confirmed.

“We have agreed that Japan will allow chicken imports from China as long as the products were properly processed at facilities that meet sanitary conditions, which we will set soon,” said the official.

The move follows negotiations between Japanese and Chinese officials in Tokyo.

Japan will send a mission to China to carry out inspections before it lifts the ban, which was imposed late January after an outbreak of bird flu was confirmed in Beijing.

In a similar development, Japan last week agreed to allow imports from Thailand of heat-processed chicken made at facilities that meet certain sanitary requirements, although the kingdom continues to fight the virus.