G7 Demands Immediate Repeal of Japanese Food Import Restrictions in Light of Fukushima Wastewater Release

by Ella

The Group of Seven (G7), composed of industrial powers including the United States, Japan, Germany, Britain, France, Italy, and Canada, issued a joint call on Sunday for the “immediate repeal” of import restrictions imposed on Japanese food products. While not explicitly naming China, the statement is seen as a reference to China’s restrictions on Japanese food imports, which were initiated following Japan’s decision to release treated radioactive water from the Fukushima nuclear power plant into the Pacific.

China had previously imposed a blanket suspension of Japanese fish imports two months ago, a move criticized by Japan and the United States as unfair. Recently, Russia also implemented a similar restriction.


In response to the G7’s statement, China characterized their actions as “economic coercion” and urged the G7 nations to refrain from applying “double standards” and instead take practical measures to uphold the normal international trade and investment order. The Chinese embassy in Japan expressed concern that G7 member nations were undermining a level playing field and disrupting the security and stability of global production and supply chains.


Furthermore, the G7 trade ministers expressed their “concern” about recent control measures on the export of critical minerals, referring to China’s restrictions on the export of graphite, a key material used in electric vehicle batteries. In response to this issue, the G7 ministers highlighted the need to reduce dependence on a single country for the supply of critical resources. They agreed on the importance of establishing resilient and reliable supply chains for critical minerals, semiconductors, and batteries.


The G7 officials also addressed concerns related to non-market policies, including “pervasive, opaque, and trade-distortive industrial subsidies” and forced technology transfer.


Regarding the situation in Ukraine, the G7 officials condemned Russia’s destruction of Ukrainian grain export infrastructure during its invasion of Ukraine. They also criticized Moscow’s unilateral decision to withdraw from talks on an agreement that had permitted Ukraine to export wheat and other products through the Black Sea.

Notably, unlike the G7 finance ministers’ meeting two weeks prior, which had condemned “terror attacks” on Israel by Hamas, the trade ministers did not mention the Middle East crisis. Instead, they emphasized their commitment to raising awareness about the challenges of transporting humanitarian goods across international borders during natural disasters and other emergencies.



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