The relationship between beef price stabilization and beef import policies is examined. The formula developed to calculate the floor and ceiling prices for beef in Japan is explained. The current complicated administrative arrangements designed to control beef imports is outlined. Some of the major controversial aspects of present import and price policies for protecting the domestic beef industry are examined in some detail. The domestic marketing channels for beef in Japan are being substantially modernized. The development of the central and sub-central wholesale markets; the rationalization of meat slaughtering in producing areas; the development of the trade in part-cuts; and the development of transaction standards and grades for both beef carcasses and more recently beef part-cuts; are all discussed. These changes have influenced, and will continue to influence, beef policy decisions in Japan. Finally, some future beef price support and import policy options are considered. Assuming no legislative alterations, the scope for modest changes to the present arrangements is examined. Should the Japanese Government decide to change the laws governing beef price-support and import policies, it is likely to move to a deficiency payments scheme modelled on the present arrangements for dairy-steer feeder-calves and financed by a variable levy on all beef imported.


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