Bans on food imports from Fukushima relaxed

Nations ease up on import restrictions Japanese food

Countries around the world are relaxing or altogether scrapping their restrictions on Japanese food imports put in place after the 2011 accident at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant. On Nov. 4, Singapore announced it would no longer ban food imports from Fukushima Prefecture, and the European Union relaxed restrictions soon after.

The EU will no longer require products to be certified as having been tested for radioactive substances, with the exception of a few items such as marine products from Fukushima Prefecture and wild vegetables from eastern Japan. Norway, Switzerland, Liechtenstein and Iceland plan to relax their restrictions in line with the EU.

In October, Brunei announced it would roll back all of its restrictions. Macao, which had prohibited the import of vegetables, fruits and dairy products from nine prefectures, will allow imports with proper certifications.

In April, the appellate body of the World Trade Organization overturned a decision by a WTO panel that had ruled in favor of Japan in a case involving South Korea’s ban on Japanese marine imports. In response, the Foreign Ministry invited ambassadors from various countries to attend discussions of Japan’s food safety.

However, China, South Korea and Taiwan still have import bans in place. Seoul has expressed concern that food products from areas affected by the 2011 accident will be served at the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics. Taiwan citizens voted last year to keep the bans in place.

The Japanese government said it will continue its campaign to promote the safety of Japanese food products.


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