NHK reported this morning that the governments of the U.S. and Japan began talks on Japan’s safeguard tariff hike invoked on March 18 on U.S. beef imports based on the bilateral trade agreement. The network said that the agreement calls for the two governments to begin talks on future measures within 10 days of the introduction of the safeguard. The Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF) reportedly announced today that the first meeting was held online. According to the network, senior officials of the Cabinet Secretariat, MOFA, and MAFF from the Japanese side and senior officials of the USTR from the U.S. side attended the meeting. They reportedly shared information on Japan’s safeguard measures and agreed to continue the talks in accordance with the bilateral trade agreement. Noting that the safeguard will be invoked when the volume of U.S. beef imports reaches 247,000 tons in FY2021, which is 5,000 tons more than in FY2020, and the threshold volume will gradually increase until FY2033, the network said the two governments will discuss whether the thresholds are reasonable. They are expected to conclude the talks by June.