China Bans Imports of Japanese Seafood Due to Nuclear Effluent Discharge from Japan

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ten data blog24-08-2023


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Japan to discharge nuclear wastewater from now on

Japan has decided to discharge treated radioactive wastewater from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant into the Pacific Ocean from August 24th, and is expected to continue to do so for 30 years.


Since the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami damaged the Fukushima Daiichi plant in March 2011, 1.34 million tons of wastewater has accumulated in the plant, enough to fill 500 Olympic-size swimming pools.


China's General Administration of Customs (GAC) announced on the 24th that it would impose an immediate ban on the import of Japanese aquatic products. Previously, China only announced a ban on the import of aquatic products from 10 prefectures in Japan, including Fukushima and Tokyo.


China's Hong Kong SAR government since the 24th early morning, banned from Japan, Tokyo, Fukushima, Chiba, Tochigi, Ibaraki, Gunma, Miyagi, Niigata, Nagano, Saitama and other areas of the import of the same range of all aquatic products, including live, frozen and dried products imported; China's Macao SAR government to follow. However, seafood imports from 13 other regions in Japan are still allowed.


Taiwan initiates daily monitoring and forecasting, adding that the first day's discharge meets safety standards.


South Korea's Prime Minister Han Youn-soo says that if the Japanese emissions do not meet standards, South Korea will immediately file a lawsuit with an international court over the issue.


In July, the Ministry of Land and Environmental Protection of the DPRK said it would "unite and join hands to resolutely stop and crush" the "vicious anti-human and anti-peace moves of some impure forces" on earth.


Greenpeace, an international environmental activist group, criticized Japan for "ignoring scientific evidence, neglecting the concerns of the general public, including fishermen, and violating the human rights of the people of the Pacific region by deliberately polluting the oceans".


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Severe blow to Japan's exports

Mainland China immediately announced a total ban on all Japanese fishery products. The measure covers live, frozen, chilled and dried fish, sea salt and seaweed.


South Korea still bans seafood imports from the Fukushima region. This is a ban that has been in place since 2013. Although the government has moderated its political stance, it has no intention of lifting the ban.


Mainland China is the largest buyer of Japanese seafood, importing more than $600 million last year. Notably, Hong Kong, China, was a close second, purchasing $520 million of seafood from Japan last year.


Considering China's consistently strong opposition to wastewater discharges, this may be a situation that the Japanese government has long anticipated. It recognizes that in the short term, companies will suffer a "significant" blow.


In this sense, China understands its economic influence over Japan, and the question is whether Hong Kong will follow the mainland's lead and impose yet another blanket ban.


Either way, it would seriously shake up Japan's seafood industry, as well as restaurants in Hong Kong and mainland China.


Some Hong Kong fish sellers, such as Robert Ho, a 57-year-old fish store owner, said the ban could help sales of their local fish.


"Because there is no Japanese fish in the market, our local fish prevails ...... With these locally caught big fish, do we still need to eat Japanese fish?"


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Accused by China's Foreign Ministry

After Japan launched the nuclear disaster wastewater discharge, China's Ministry of Foreign Affairs official website at 12:15 Beijing time) published a spokesman talk, said the Chinese side expressed resolute opposition to and strong condemnation of this, and has lodged solemn representations to the Japanese side, requesting the Japanese side to stop this wrongdoing.


The statement went on to emphasize that "there is no precedent for the artificial discharge of contaminated water from a nuclear accident into the ocean, nor is there a recognized standard for its disposal."


"The Government of Japan has not demonstrated the legitimacy of the decision to discharge the sea, the long-term reliability of the nuclear contaminated water purification device, the truthfulness and accuracy of the data on the nuclear contaminated water, the harmlessness of the discharge to the marine environment and the safety of human health, the completeness and validity of the monitoring program, and the lack of adequate consultation with stakeholders. "


The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China accused the Government of Japan of "causing secondary harm to the local people and even the people of the world out of its own selfish interests" and of "placing itself in the international dock, which will certainly be condemned by the international community for a long time".



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