Tokyo to try to avoid Russia banning Japanese seafood imports - Agriculture Minister
TOKYO - Tokyo will do its best to avoid a Russian ban on its seafood imports by providing Moscow with transparent information on the food's safety, Japanese Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Minister Ichiro Miyashita said on Friday, reported Sputnik.
"We will once again inform Russia about the [seafood's] safety and will work to avoid any restrictions [on seafood imports from China to Russia]," the Kyodo news agency quoted Miyashita as saying at a briefing.
He also called on Moscow to act on the basis of "scientific data," adding that Russia has already requested information on how radiation was measured in seafood destined for export.
"We will continue to provide Russia with highly transparent information," the minister said.
Russia accounts for only 0.1 per cent of Japan's seafood exports, the news agency said, adding that this amounts to 280 million yen (US$1.9 million).
On Tuesday, the Russian agricultural watchdog said that it was mulling joining China in its ban on Japan's seafood imports, imposed in late August after Tokyo's Fukushima water release due to radiological risks.
The Japanese government has continuously provided explanations based on scientific data to the world community, including Russia, about the safety of the treated ALPS water, Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno said earlier in the month, adding that Tokyo has received a report from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) that involved the participation of international experts, including from Russia.
On Aug 24, Japan began dumping treated wastewater from the Fukushima NPP into the Pacific Ocean after diluting it with seawater. Tokyo said that the water had been cleaned of all radionuclides except tritium, which was still within acceptable limits. The water release drew strong opposition, notably from China, which suspended seafood imports from Japan.
Later in August, Russian regulators conducted an inspection of fish caught near Fukushima's discharge site. Radiological parameters were found to be within norms in the 443 samples tested. - BERNAMA-SPUTNIK