Japan resumes Idaho potato imports for first time in 11 years

The Japanese government lifted on Tuesday an import ban on potatoes grown in Idaho, the largest U.S. potato producer, for the first time in 11 years after confirming a lowered risk of pest invasion, sources familiar with the matter said. Japan suspended imports of all potatoes grown in the United States in 2006 and later resumed imports of U.S. potatoes except those grown in Idaho, the origin of a pest. Most fresh potato imports are used for making potato chips and their demand has been on the rise lately. The government has apparently decided that the influence of imports on major potato producers in the country such as Hokkaido will be limited since the current amount of potato imports is considerably small compared with the domestic produce. More