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Japan urges China to lift import ban on farm products in place since March 2011

BEIJING – Japan urged China on Monday to scrap its import restrictions on agricultural, forestry and fisheries products and food that have been in place since the March 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster.

Kazuyoshi Honkawa, vice minister of agriculture, forestry and fisheries, made the request at a bilateral subcabinet-level dialogue in Beijing on agricultural issues.

The two countries reopened the dialogue for the first time in six years, after suspending talks due to deteriorated bilateral ties.

After the nuclear disaster at Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s crippled Fukushima No. 1 plant, China prohibited all imports of agricultural, forestry and fisheries products and food from 10 prefectures, including Fukushima, Miyagi and Ibaraki.

Honkawa asked Chinese Vice Agriculture Minister Qu Dongyu to urge authorities to lift the import ban. The embargo is administered by China’s General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine.

Honkawa said he did not receive a clear answer on the issue from the Chinese ministry.

After the dialogue, he told reporters that the rapidly growing Chinese market is very attractive for Japanese agriculture, forestry and fisheries industries, suggesting his ministry’s aim of expanding farm exports to China.

Economic relations between Japan and China have been on the mend in recent months.

At talks last November, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Chinese Premier Li Keqiang agreed to restart a high-level economic dialogue that brings together the two countries’ key economic officials at an early date this year. In December, Japan and China held economic partnership talks led by vice ministerial officials for the first time in more than five years.

March 24, 2016 - Posted by | Fukushima 2016 | , , ,

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