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International relations

Tokyo's offer to buy US corn baffles Japan's animal feed makers

Carb-rich American imports fill different role from pest-plagued domestic crop

An American farmer inspects his crop in Illinois. Japan has agreed to buy excess U.S. corn in bilateral negotiations.   © Reuters

TOKYO -- Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's talk last month of moving up imports of U.S. corn has raised eyebrows in Japan's agriculture industry, as the pest problems cited by Tokyo have little to do with the type of corn America supplies.

Corn is used in two types of animal feed: concentrates and roughage. Concentrate corn is high in carbohydrates and protein, while roughage corn is more fibrous.

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