Japan Voices Discontent Over China’s Seafood Ban Linked to Fukushima Water

by Ella

Japan has officially conveyed its strong objection to China’s ban on Japanese seafood following the discharge of treated water from the Fukushima nuclear plant, labeling the action as “totally unacceptable.” In response to China’s August 31 announcement to the World Trade Organization (WTO) regarding the suspension of Japanese aquatic imports, Japan issued a counterargument.

Japan firmly stated its intention to elucidate its stance within relevant WTO committees and urged China to promptly rescind the ban. There have been indications from Japanese officials that the country might initiate a WTO complaint, a move supported by the United States ambassador to Japan, as disclosed last week.


Japan plans to present information about the safety of the discharged water at diplomatic gatherings, including the ASEAN Summit in Indonesia and the G20 Summit in India, both occurring this month. Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno informed reporters on Tuesday about these plans. He also mentioned that discussions about a Japan-China leaders’ meeting had not been finalized.


While Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and China’s Premier Li Qiang are scheduled to attend the ASEAN and G20 summits, Chinese President Xi Jinping will not participate in either event.


In a separate statement made on Monday, Japan’s foreign ministry revealed that it had asked China to engage in discussions regarding the import ban under the provisions of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) trade agreement.


Although marine products constitute a relatively small portion of Japan’s global trade, with automobiles dominating, the country exported approximately $600 million worth of seafood to mainland China in 2022, making it the most significant market for Japanese exports, followed by Hong Kong.

To mitigate the impact of the lost seafood demand, Japan has committed to allocating over 100 billion yen ($682 million) to support the domestic fisheries industry.



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