( File photo )

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has prepared a pest risk assessment for imports of Japanese muskmelons.

The government of Japan earlier asked USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service to approve importation of the fruit (Cucumis melo L.) into the continental U.S., Puerto Rico and U.S. Virgin Islands.

APHIS has drafted a pest risk assessment that describes potential pests associated with muskmelons. In general, the USDA said in the report that pest risks associated with Japanese muskmelons can be managed. The agency indicated the imports from Japan are likely to be approved.

USDA-APHIS will accept comments on the draft pest risk assessment until Feb. 14.