The following excerpt was in a story in the Thursday 22nd Wall Street Journal: "Yoshinoya D&C Co., Japan's largest chain serving sliced beef over a bowl of rice, is one of U.S. beef's most outspoken supporters. Days after last month's discovery of the sick cow in Washington state, the 1,200-outlet chain held a news conference declaring that almost all of its beef is American, and that it will continue serving U.S. beef in Japan. Beef from Australia or Japan just doesn't taste as good in its "beef bowls," which cost a modest $2.60 per helping, the company says. So if the import ban continues and its beef supply runs out -- probably in the next few weeks -- it says it will have no choice but to stop selling its flagship beef bowls altogether.
"Switching to non-American beef "would just end up damaging our brand," declares Hisashi Ikegami, managing director at Yoshinoya. Grain-fed cows from the U.S. create just the right marbling in beef that is suitable for the restaurant's special soy and ginger sauce, the company says. While Australia has reported no cases of mad-cow disease, the company claims that grass-fed Australian cows have tougher meat that turns an unappetizing yellowish color when marinated in its sauce. The company serves U.S. beef in its 82 outlets in the U.S."
My relation to this story is that I eat at almost any Yoshinoya in sight in Tokyo if it is near lunch time. My favorite is next door to the Yoshinoya training center in Shinjuku.