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Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Japan to pressure South Korea to lift ban on seafood from Fukushima, seven other prefectures

Oct 15, 2014
Tokyo plans to use foreign pressure to get South Korea to remove its import ban on seafood produced in eight prefectures, including Fukushima, officials said Tuesday.
The central government will continue expressing its concern about South Korea’s import ban at meetings of the World Trade Organization by saying that the South Korean measure runs counter to international trade rules.
Tokyo will appeal to the international community so that it can resume exports of seafood from the eight prefectures to South Korea, according to the officials.
In a meeting of the WTO committee on sanitary and phytosanitary measures starting in Geneva Wednesday, Japan will voice its concern about the import ban for the fourth time since October 2013. After the forthcoming session, Tokyo will underscore its concern each time the committee meets.
If South Korea maintains its current stance, Japan will consider resorting to the option of taking the issue to the WTO dispute settlement process, the sources said.
In September last year, South Korea imposed a ban on imports of seafood from the eight prefectures, also including Aomori, Iwate, Miyagi, Ibaraki, Tochigi, Chiba and Gunma, because of worries about leaks of radioactive water from Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s disaster-stricken Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant into the sea.
Japan has asked for the removal of the ban by providing some 3,000 pages of documents explaining the safety of the seafood and measures taken against the tainted water leaks.
Last month, South Korea said it would set up a special panel to examine whether Japanese seafood is safe. But no progress has so far been reported to the Japanese side, according to an executive from the Fisheries Agency.
Source: Japan Times
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