China to prohibit import of food from certain Japanese regions

World News
2023-07-07 | 02:48
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China to prohibit import of food from certain Japanese regions
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China to prohibit import of food from certain Japanese regions

The Chinese customs authorities announced on Friday that they will ban the import of foodstuffs from ten Japanese regions following Tokyo's plan to dump treated nuclear wastewater from the Fukushima power station into the ocean.

The International Atomic Energy Agency approved the Japanese government's plan to dispose of approximately 1.33 million tons of contaminated water stored at the power station site, which will soon reach its capacity, by discharging it into the ocean after treating it and reducing its density.

The power station suffered significant damage following a severe earthquake, which was followed by a tsunami, causing a nuclear accident on March 11, 2011.

The disposal of the water is expected to begin this summer, but some countries in the region, including China, oppose the plan. In addition to this, a number of Fukushima residents, especially fishermen, fear that their customers will avoid buying their products.

China's Foreign Ministry said on Thursday that the report of the International Atomic Energy Agency cannot be considered a "green light" for the water disposal plan, warning of unknown risks to human health.

On Friday, Chinese customs authorities confirmed that they "will ban the import of foodstuffs from ten prefectures, including Fukushima" for safety reasons and will conduct stringent radiation tests on foodstuffs from the rest of Japan.

The statement said that "Chinese customs will remain highly vigilant," without disclosing the list of Japanese regions affected by the ban.

About 1.33 million cubic meters of groundwater, rainwater, and cooling water are accumulated at the decommissioned Fukushima site after several reactors collapsed in the aftermath of the 2011 disaster.

Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO), the operator of the plant, treats the water using a system to remove almost all radioactive elements except tritium, and plans to dilute it before dumping it into the ocean over the coming decades.

China stated on Friday that Japan "still faces a number of issues regarding the legitimacy of discharging water into the ocean, the adequacy of purification equipment, and the completion of the monitoring plan."
 
AFP

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