potato chips
After several years of negotiations, Japan's Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries (MAFF) has agreed to allow US chipping potatoes to be transported overland from an international port to an approved processing facility in Kagoshima.

This represents a long-standing request by the US government, the US potato industry, and Japanese importers. Previously, US chipping potatoes had to be transported to the processing facility via a feeder vessel from the international port to the local port in Kagoshima.

The approval of the 97 kilometer (49 mile) overland route directly to the factory will save time and resources, and will make the export of US chipping potatoes to Japan significantly more efficient. Although shipments for the 2015 shipping window have ready been contracted and are being exported, this new opportunity will allow for potential increased exports to the facility in the future and eventually the possibility of additional plant approvals in Japan.

The US potato industry thanks USDA's Animal Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) and Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) for their assistance with this effort.