Japan tells the World Trade Organization that China’s seafood ban linked to the Fukushima accident is unacceptable

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japan has told the World Trade Organization that China’s ban on Japanese seafood after the withdrawal of treated water from the Fukushima nuclear plant is “totally unacceptable,” Japan’s foreign ministry said. He said late Monday.

In a counter-response to China’s notification to the WTO on Aug. 31 of its measure to suspend imports of Japanese aquatic fish, which began last month, Japan said it would explain its positions in relevant WTO committees, urging China to cancel the measure immediately. .

Some Japanese officials have indicated that the country may file a complaint with the World Trade Organization, which the US ambassador to Japan said last week the US would support.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno told reporters Tuesday that Japan will explain the safety of the released water in diplomatic forums, including the ASEAN summit in Indonesia and the G20 summit in India this month.

“Nothing has been decided on the meeting of the leaders of Japan and China,” said Matsuno, chief spokesman for the Tokyo government. Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and Chinese Prime Minister Li Qiang are scheduled to attend the ASEAN and G20 summits, while Chinese President Xi Jinping will not attend both conferences.

in separate statement Japan’s foreign ministry said on Monday that Japan has also asked China to hold discussions on an import ban based on the provisions of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) agreement.

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Although marine products account for less than 1% of Japan’s global trade, which is dominated by automobiles, Japan exported about $600 million worth of aquatic products to China in 2022, making it Japan’s largest export market, followed by Hong Kong.

Data on Tuesday showed that exports of aquatic products destined for China fell for the first time in two and a half years in July, falling 23% year on year to 7.7 billion yen ($52.44 million).

Goods destined for China have faced tougher inspections since Japan announced its plan to release Fukushima treated water, slowing shipments.

To ease the pain of losing demand for seafood, Japan will spend more than 100 billion yen ($682 million) to support the local fisheries industry.

($1 = 146.8300 yen)

(Reporting by Kantaro Komiya and Kaori Kaneko; Reporting by Muhammad; Reporting by Kantaro Komiya and Kaori Kaneko) Editing by Jacqueline Wong, Muralikumar Anantharaman and Jerry Doyle

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Kantaro writes about everything from Japanese economic indicators to North Korean missiles to the global regulation of AI companies. His past stories have appeared in The Associated Press, Bloomberg, The Japan Times, and Rest of the World. Kantaro, a native of Tokyo, graduated from Debau University in the United States and received the 2020 Scholar of the Year Award from the Foreign Press Club Foundation.

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