Hong Kong to Enforce Vigilant Measures on Japanese Seafood Imports

by Ella

In a resolute move, Chief Executive John Lee of Hong Kong has declared his strong dissent against Japan’s impending release of treated radioactive water into the sea from the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant. Expressing deep concerns about the potential hazards this poses to food safety and marine ecosystems, Lee has underscored the necessity for immediate action. He has directed the secretary for the environment and ecology, along with relevant departments, to promptly initiate import controls to safeguard both public health and food safety.

Scheduled to commence on Thursday, Japan’s planned release of over a million tons of water from the nuclear facility situated north of Tokyo has been met with controversy. Despite being endorsed by the U.N. nuclear watchdog, the scheme has encountered resistance domestically and internationally, particularly from China, due to apprehensions surrounding food safety.


Lee categorically criticized the water release as “irresponsible,” outlining the inherent risks it presents to both food safety and the long-term health of marine ecosystems. Taking to his Facebook account to communicate this stance, Lee reiterated his commitment to ensure the well-being of Hong Kong’s residents and the preservation of its environment.


In line with this stance, Hong Kong’s government had previously announced a prohibition in July that encompasses imported aquatic products originating from various Japanese regions. These regions encompass Tokyo, Fukushima, Chiba, Tochigi, Ibaraki, Gunma, Miyagi, Niigata, Nagano, and Saitama. The scope of the ban extends to various forms of aquatic products, including live, frozen, refrigerated, and dried varieties, as well as sea salt and seaweed.


The forthcoming imposition of import controls holds significant implications for both economies and culinary preferences. Hong Kong, serving as Japan’s second-largest market for agricultural and fisheries exports, follows mainland China in this regard. The vibrant culinary landscape of Hong Kong, featuring numerous beloved Japanese restaurants, is poised to be affected by the ban. Some restaurants have started strategizing ways to counter potential losses, with the incorporation of additional meat-based dishes to their menus, as losses of up to 40% are anticipated.


The measured response from Hong Kong’s leadership reflects the intricate balance between maintaining trade relations and prioritizing public health and environmental concerns. As Hong Kong grapples with these challenges, the international spotlight remains focused on the evolving dynamics between nations in the realm of food safety and global commerce.



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