The Japanese government eased the restriction on importing beef from the United States and other countries on Friday, local media reported. According to an agreement reached by Japan and the United States on Jan. 28, Japan will raise the cattle age limit for beef imports from the United States to 30 months, up from 20 months. Japan also eased import limits on beef and beef products from Canada, France and the Netherlands, according to the local Kyodo News Agency. Beef imports are expected to arrive at Japan in the middle of February at the earliest, said the report. Japan banned beef import from the United States due to mad cow disease in 2003 and partially loosened the prohibition in 2006.