Fairy King Prawn will be announced today among the selections for the Yasuda Kinen in the first sign that Japan is ready to bow to international pressure over the Prawngate affair. The latest move in the controversy follows intervention by the influential International Federation of Horseracing Authorities [IFHA], whose chairman Louis Romanet sent a letter to the Japan Racing Association [JRA] to 'firmly recommend' the inclusion of Fairy King Prawn and urge the Japanese authorities to rethink their stance over the foot-and-mouth problem. And hopes rose last night that the Ivan Allan-trained superstar could soon be given the official go-ahead for the Group One race on June 3 as the JRA's international department held urgent talks with the Japanese Government. Kenji Kominami, the department's chairman, told the Post: 'Fundamentally, our job is to have runners from all over the world for our international races. This is why we accept the entry of Fairy King Prawn and I am sure he will be selected - the only problem is the quarantine situation. 'The foot-and-mouth situation is getting better so we have been trying to persuade our Government and if we have a little more time we have a chance to change the situation before the Yasuda Kinen. I hope so, but I'm not 100 per cent sure.' Although Fairy King Prawn is still not guaranteed a run in the US$1.6 million mile contest, his inclusion at this stage is a big step forward in Hong Kong's efforts to secure his participation and the news was welcomed last night. Allan said: 'Now that the hidden agenda of the Japanese ministry and the JRA has been exposed and international pressure has been brought to bear, I am very hopeful Fairy King Prawn will be able to take his rightful place in the race.' Hong Kong Jockey Club director of racing Winfried Engelbrecht-Bresges, who called in the IFHA on Tuesday over the issue, said: 'I am more optimistic now that there will be a positive outcome. I have been informed by the JRA that they are to meet government representatives and that we can expect an announcement before the weekend. 'I hope they can be persuaded to proceed with business as usual, and I must thank Louis Romanet for his considerable support.' Fairy King Prawn had been barred from the Yasuda Kinen - the race in which he made history last year by becoming the only Hong Kong-trained horse to win an overseas Group One event - following a directive from the Japanese Government to the JRA to 'decline participation' from countries which had foot and mouth, specifically Hong Kong, Britain and Dubai. But the policy came under fire after five Japanese horses who competed at last month's Dubai World Cup meeting were allowed to return home without restrictions, while it emerged on Wednesday that five two-year-olds are due to be shipped to farms in Japan from Britain on May 13. Fairy King Prawn's selection - along with three Godolphin horses from Dubai - follows the letter from Romanet to Terry Imahara, the presidential counsellor for foreign affairs at the JRA. Romanet described the situation as 'a very important international matter' and urged the JRA to select Fairy King Prawn and then 'to try between now and June 3 to convince the Japanese Government to authorise him to run in Japan'. Romanet, one of the world's most senior and influential racing administrators, said in his personal opinion it would be 'very detrimental' to the JRA to refuse permission for Fairy King Prawn to run in the Yasuda Kinen at a time when Japan was attempting to upgrade several of its international races. Romanet, based in Paris and also head of the French racing authority France-Galop, said: 'We contacted the JRA office in Paris on behalf of the IFHA and they assured us they will do their very best to convince the ministry in Japan to review its regulations over foot and mouth. 'We have also written to the JRA in Tokyo asking them to do everything they can to allow Fairy King Prawn to run and telling them that we are ready to provide any information they require to help resolve this matter.' Romanet said he believed the JRA was committed to open competition and added that he had sympathy for the Japanese position over the foot-and-mouth issue, which was complicated by the fact that the JRA is a quasi-governmental body. 'The JRA wants international recognition for its races and we believe they are absolutely sincere in opening up their racing to international competition. We have all had to face the foot-and-mouth problem recently and every country has to be bound by agriculture ministry regulations, whether it is Britain, France or Japan. 'The JRA is not an independent body and comes under the auspices of the Government, so it has to be guided by what the Government decides. But we do not believe there is a serious risk from these horses competing in Japan, especially as everyone knows they all competed together in Dubai, along with the Japanese horses who were allowed to return.' A spokesman for Imahara's office confirmed they had received the letter from Romanet and added: 'He asked us to rectify the situation for the good of the racing industry. We cannot put pressure on the Government - the officials are not our opponents, they are our colleagues - but we can try to change the situation. This is a very delicate situation and it is up to government officials, but we are trying very hard.' The Japanese authorities appeared to be taken by surprise by Wednesday's development over the shipment of two-year-olds from Britain, and Kominami said: 'I am not sure if our Government knew about this before but they know now because they have seen your newspaper. The transportation is not yet done and the Government could instruct the transporter or owner not to bring those horses to Japan.' Both Hong Kong and Japan are members of the IFHA, which wields considerable power in its role as a 'united nations' of racing. First established in 1961 by the United States, France, Britain and Ireland, it was expanded in 1993 and now has around 60 full members. One of the IFHA's main objectives is 'the necessity to co-ordinate and harmonise the rules of the member countries regarding racing and breeding'.