Japan to WTO: China’s Fukushima-related seafood ban ‘totally unacceptable’


A customer browses through locally caught seafood at the Hamanoeki Fish Market and Food Court in Soma, Fukushima Prefecture, Japan, August 31, 2023. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon

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

In a counterargument to China’s Aug. 31 notification to WTO on its measures to suspend Japanese aquatic imports that started last month, Japan said it would explain its positions in relevant WTO committees and urged China to immediately repeal the action.

Some Japanese officials have signaled the possibility of filing a WTO complaint over China’s seafood import ban, which the U.S. ambassador to Japan said last week was something the United States would support.

In a separate statement on Monday, Tokyo’s foreign ministry said Japan has also requested China to hold discussions over the Fukushima-related import ban based on the provisions of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) trade pact.

“Japan hopes that China will hold the discussions with the Japanese side as soon as practicable and review its measures in accordance with its obligations of the RCEP Agreement,” it said.

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