Japan says may take China to WTO over Fukushima-driven seafood import ban

by Ella

In a firm stance, Japan declared its intention on Tuesday to potentially escalate matters to the World Trade Organization (WTO) in a bid to reverse China’s comprehensive prohibition on Japanese seafood imports, catalyzed by the discharge of treated radioactive water from the beleaguered Fukushima Daiichi nuclear facility.

Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi conveyed to the media that Japan is prepared to undertake “necessary action (pertaining to China’s ban on aquatic products), employing a range of approaches, including within the framework of the WTO.”


Should diplomatic channels prove ineffective, economic security minister Sanae Takaichi indicated that filing a WTO complaint could become a viable alternative.


This development unfolded as Japanese enterprises and public establishments remained subject to vexatious phone calls emanating from numbers marked with China’s +86 country code. Numerous recipients of such calls disclosed that the callers were lamenting the Fukushima water release.


As per reports from Jiji news, Japan’s National Policy Agency has cataloged 225 instances of harassment calls up to the present time. The government is currently enlisting support from telecommunication firms to counteract these calls.


NTT Communications, a subsidiary of Nippon Telegraph and Telephone (OTC:NPPXF), disclosed an uptick in requests from landline users seeking to block international numbers. Further discussions regarding measures are underway among phone companies, including KDDI (OTC:KDDIF) and SoftBank (TYO:9984) Corp, in response to the administration’s entreaty.

Trade Minister Yasutoshi Nishimura, during a press conference, voiced deep concern over the “extraordinarily regrettable and troubling proliferation of harassment calls, presumably from China.” Nishimura conveyed reports that some calls were even reaching hospitals in Fukushima.

Nishimura underscored the gravity of the situation by emphasizing the potential impact on human lives: “Human life is at stake now. Please stop the calls immediately.”

The minister also shared the government’s effort to amass intelligence regarding movements aimed at boycotting Japanese goods within China. Collaboration with business leaders is in the pipeline to effectively address this evolving scenario.



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