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Japan Calls for Strict US Controls on Beef Shipments

Japan is calling on the United States to take thorough measures to prevent any further beef shipments containing banned animal matter that could cause "mad-cow" disease.

Agriculture Minister Shoichi Nakagawa made the demand Sunday during a meeting with a senior American official who is visiting Japan.

Robert Zoellick, the State Department's second highest-ranking official deputy secretary of state, says an accidental shipment to Japan of veal containing prohibited bone material was an unacceptable mistake, and he expressed sincere regret on behalf of the United States.

Japan reimposed a total ban on U.S. beef imports Friday, after finding spinal material in a shipment of veal from New York. The ban had been partially lifted just weeks ago.

The American Embassy in Tokyo says a high-level delegation led by Agriculture Undersecretary J. B. Penn will arrive in Japan Monday to discuss the situation.