U.S. meat industry sources say the new leaders in Japan won’t allow more lenient regulations to import U.S. beef according to Forbes.com.

Newly elected Democratic leaders in Japan will continue to accept U.S. beef cattle that are 20 months old or younger. The U.S. beef industry wants to increase the cutoff to 30 months or younger. Beef industry experts say the 30-month age limit would bring U.S. business back to supply levels they’ve shipped to Japan before the mad cow cases reported in 2003.

Industry experts had been making process with previous leadership, new decision makers appear to be more protective. Before the mad cow cases in December, 2003, Japan was the U.S. beef industry’s top export.

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Source: Forbes.com