Japan has agreed to lift its two-decade old ban on import of Indian mangoes, Japanese farm minister Shoichi Nakagawa announced in Tokyo.
Shoichi Nakagawa, Japan's minister of agriculture, forestry and fisheries, made the announcement in the presence of visiting Indian Commerce Minister Kamal Nath at the India-Japan Business Summit.
Nath said once the embargo was lifted by July, the Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority would hold a special mango festival in Japan.
The mangoes (Alphonso, Banganpalli, Kesar, Langra, Chausa and Malika) to be imported by Japan would be from pre-identified areas of production namely, Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal.
Japan had imposed a ban on the import of Indian mangoes in 1986 because of suspected pest infestation by fruit flies.
Nath had first raised the issue of market access for Indian mangoes with Nakagawa in August 2004, and again during his visit to Tokyo in 2005, when he invited Japanese quarantine authorities to visit India for on-site tests and inspections.
A Japanese technical team, which visited India earlier this year, had expressed satisfaction with the results and agreed to move ahead with the process to lift the ban.