Last month, Japan and the European Union held a summit…
The two sides agreed to lift EU member states’ restrictions on food imports from Japan, which had been in place since the Fukushima nuclear disaster.
[Charles Michel/EU Presidency: “The EU has agreed to allow imports from Fukushima again.”]
The follow-up process to the agreement was finalized in 20 days, with the EU lifting the import restrictions.
Norway and Iceland, which are not EU members, join in.
This means that Japan will no longer have to provide the EU with the radioactive material testing certificates it had been submitting when exporting food products from 10 prefectures, including seafood from Fukushima Prefecture and bamboo shoots from Miyagi Prefecture.
The Japanese government has expressed a great welcome.
[Hirokazu Matsuno/Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary: “The removal of regulations by the EU, Norway, and Iceland this time supports the reconstruction of the disaster area and is welcomed by my country (Japan).”]
Following in the EU’s footsteps, Switzerland and Liechtenstein are also set to remove their import restrictions from the 15th of this month.
This will leave only seven countries or regions, including South Korea, China, and Russia, from the 55 that once restricted food imports from Japan following the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster.
Ahead of the expected release of contaminated water from the Fukushima nuclear plant into the ocean this summer, China has further tightened import restrictions, including imposing sweeping radiation tests on seafood from Japan.
The South Korean government has also repeatedly stated that it has no plans to abolish import restrictions, saying that importing food products, including those from Fukushima, is a non-negotiable issue as it concerns the health and safety of its citizens.
Based on the IAEA’s comprehensive report stating that the discharge of contaminated water is safe, 먹튀검증 and the EU’s abolition of import restrictions, the Japanese government is expected to put further pressure on South Korea.