WASHINGTON — Hirotaka Akamatsu, Japan’s newly appointed Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, met for the first time with Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack on Oct. 9. While discussing beef, Mr. Vilsack emphasized the importance of basing policy on World Organization for Animal Health (O.I.E.) standards, and Mr. Akamatsu expressed his commitment to have food-safety regulations based on scientific knowledge.

They also discussed the necessary steps to take toward a successful conclusion of the Doha Development Agenda and issues affecting bilateral trade in agricultural products between the two countries.

Both men expressed their mutual commitment to developing a strong and trusting relationship, and the importance of fostering a continuing dialogue.