Officials from the Japanese and US governments are to hold a further consultation this week in Tokyo on the issue of beef trade between the two countries.

At the consultation, the two governments will discuss issues related to the resumption of trade of US and Japanese beef, based on the progress made since the third consultation that took place on 24 April 2004.

Japan banned imports of US beef following the discovery of a case of BSE, or mad cow disease, in a cow in Washington state last December. Japan has previously said that the US must introduce 100% BSE testing before it allows imports of US beef to resume.