Japan is the leading export market for U.S. beef and veal products importing about 203,483 metric tons valued at approximately 1.28 billion dollars in 1989.1/ The potential for exporting beef to Japan has received intensive interest since the signing of the 1988 Japanese Beef Market Access Agreement. Under the agreement, import quotas and the government's involvement in beef import will be replaced with higher tariffs and direct negotiations between Japanese importers and exporters starting in April 1991, promising easier access to the Japanese beef market. During the past decade, analysts in both private and public organizations have devoted substantial effort to studying the Japanese beef market. However, misconceptions of the market still exist. The main purposes of this paper are to improve our understanding of the Japanese beef market and to study the profitability of a proposed production/marketing strategy for expanding beef exports to Japan.


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