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Russia lifts bans on Japanese seafood

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March 27, 2018
Russia lifts bans on Japanese seafood
The Russian government has eased import restrictions on Japanese seafood. It imposed bans after the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster on concerns of radioactive contamination.
Russia’s quarantine-control authorities say they have approved imports from 6 prefectures in regions around the Fukushima power plant.
The have also lifted a ban on seafood from Fukushima Prefecture. That’s on the condition the products carry an additional document that certifies they are free of contamination.
The Russian officials say their decision takes into account reports from the International Atomic Energy Agency and data from Japan’s monitoring of radioactive materials.
 
Russia lifts Japan seafood ban adopted after Fukushima crisis
TOKYO (Kyodo) — Russia has lifted its ban on Japanese seafood imports adopted in the wake of the Fukushima nuclear disaster due to concerns over radioactive contamination.
Moscow’s Federal Service for Veterinary and Phytosanitary Surveillance on Friday approved seafood imports from six prefectures in northeastern and eastern Japan — Iwate, Miyagi, Yamagata, Ibaraki, Chiba and Niigata.
It also said the country would accept products from Fukushima Prefecture that are accompanied by documentation showing they are free of contamination.
The move should give a boost to Japan’s fishing industry, which has faced international concern over the impact on marine life of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear crisis triggered by the magnitude 9.0 earthquake and tsunami on March 11, 2011.
Russia banned fishery imports from over 200 companies in April of that year, before allowing products from Aomori Prefecture in July 2015.
According to Japan’s Fisheries Agency, more than 20 countries and regions, including China and South Korea as well as the European Union, still ban or partially ban imports of Japanese seafood products.
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April 7, 2018 Posted by | Fukushima 2018 | , , | Leave a comment

Fukushima fruit exports to Southeast Asia peachy as contamination fears dissipate

Feb 18, 2018
Fukushima Prefecture’s Governor campaigning abroad to push sales of Fukushima’s produce despite the health risks
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Fukushima Gov. Masao Uchibori (right) promotes Fukushima-made peaches with officials from local agricultural cooperatives at a supermarket in Kuala Lumpur in August. | FUKUSHIMA MINPO
Among peaches Japan exported to Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia last year, those produced in Fukushima Prefecture led the way, retaining their No. 1 status for two years in a row.
According to the prefectural government, 48 tons of Fukushima peaches were shipped to the three countries in 2017, up 57 percent from the previous year, thanks to efforts by local producers and distributors to acquire new customers.
With bans from the Fukushima nuclear disaster still in place around Asia, however, Fukushima officials said they will continue calling on the central government to negotiate with biggest customers of Japanese peaches, Hong Kong and Taiwan, to encourage them to lift bans on produce from the prefecture.
According to data compiled by the prefectural government based on Finance Ministry trade statistics and transaction data from local farm co-ops, Thailand topped the list of Fukushima peaches importers for two years in a row, with shipments in 2017 totaling 31.1 tons, or 1.5 times higher than the previous year. Fukushima peaches accounted for 94.8 percent of its peach imports from Japan.
Exports to Malaysia reached 15 tons, making up 72.5 percent of its Japanese peach imports, while exports to Indonesia totaled 1.5 tons, or 51.7 percent of its Japanese peach imports. Both amounts more than doubled from a year ago.
In Thailand, the number of stores selling Fukushima peaches rose to 70 from roughly 50, mainly in Bangkok, after the prefectural government entrusted a local importer to take steps to bolster sales, such as by dispatching staff to the stores when the peaches are in season.
Fukushima Gov. Masao Uchibori visited Malaysia in August to promote the fruit, resulting in a deal to export 15 tons to the nation last year.
Produce other than peaches has been making headway in Southeast Asia as well, especially in nations with high economic development and relatively fewer negative rumors about Fukushima.
Fukushima exported 77 tons of rice to Malaysia in 2017, up from none a year before, and 16.3 tons of persimmons to Thailand.
To accelerate exports of local produce, the prefectural government will put together a new strategy before the end of March. It plans to analyze different preferences and consumers’ purchasing power by nation and region and set target markets for each item.
It will then draw up measures to create production systems that meet the needs of those markets and find ways to promote the products.
“The efforts of people involved, including producers, farm co-ops and importers, have produced good results,” an official with Fukushima’s division for promoting local produce said. “We will continue working on developing effective sales channels to win the support of overseas consumers.”
This section features topics and issues from Fukushima covered by the Fukushima Minpo, the largest newspaper in Fukushima Prefecture. It was previously called Fukushima File. The original article was published on Feb. 2.

February 22, 2018 Posted by | Fukushima 2018 | , , , | Leave a comment

Japan’s Lobbying to Export Fukushima Produce

If we are to believe the Japanese government and the Fukushima local government all Fukushima produce are deliciously safe for consumption and safe to be exported, all having passed the strictest controls for the foreign consumers 100% safety…..There is no left radiation, nor contamination in Fukushima Prefecture…. Smile and you will remain safe and healthy!!!

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Fukushima food exports to Malaysia rise as radiation stigma fades

KUALA LUMPUR – Fukushima Prefecture aims to export 100 tons of rice and 15 tons of peaches to Malaysia by next year, its governor said Wednesday, evidence of fading concern over the safety of food products from the site of the 2011 nuclear disaster.

“In the aftermath of the earthquake and the nuclear plant incident, the agriculture sector suffered very much. We have to deal with negative rumor. But things are slowly recovering,” Gov. Masao Uchibori said at a press conference in the Malaysian capital Kuala Lumpur.

“We inspect 100 percent of the rice and are working hard to bridge the gap between perception and reality.”

Malaysia began importing rice from Fukushima in May, and has brought in 29 tons so far, Ajwad Abu Hassan, the managing director of Malaysia rice importer Edaran Komachi Sdn., said at the same press conference.

Ajwad said his company aims to import another 48 tons by year-end, and even greater amounts eventually.

“Fukushima produces the best quality rice in Japan. We are proud to sell this rice,” said Ajwad. “We are targeting 100 metric tons a year hopefully. In fact, we are trying to increase from not only 100 metric tons but a container full every month.”

A full shipping container holds about 12 tons.

Akumul Abu Hassan, the managing director of another rice trading company, MHC Co. Ltd, said Malaysia currently consumes about 350 tons of Japonica rice a month imported from various parts of the world including South Korea, Vietnam and China. Only 20 to 30 tons comes from Japan, and that from other prefectures such as Akita, Niigata, Hokkaido and Hiroshima.

But Akumul said when it comes to quality, nothing beats rice from Japan.

“Compare to rice from Japan, that from Vietnam, 5 percent will contain broken grains. You don’t find that in rice from Japan,” Akumul said.

Malaysia began importing Fukushima peaches a year after the disaster, and Takashi Kanno, appearing at the same press conference as a representative of the National Federation of Agricultural Cooperatives, said “Malaysia was one of the first countries to accept and give us an opportunity.”

From almost zero in 2012, Fukushima exported 1.2 tons of peaches to Malaysia in 2013, increasing to 7.3 tons last year and 9.5 tons so far this year.

Fukushima is the second-largest peach producing prefecture in Japan after Yamanashi.

Uchibori said after meeting with trading companies involved in exporting peaches, the federation has set a goal of selling 15 tons a year to Malaysia, as peaches are now being sent by ship instead of by air, which will lower the cost.

Fukushima Prefecture also exports broccoli, shiitake mushrooms and persimmons to Malaysia.

https://japantoday.com/category/business/fukushima-food-exports-to-malaysia-rise-as-radiation-stigma-fades

August 24, 2017 Posted by | Fukushima 2017 | , | Leave a comment

EU looks at lifting import curbs on Fukushima rice, Tohoku marine products, wild vegetables ???

It could be some propaganda spin on the Japanese side, but I doubt it. It is most probably true as Japan and Europe just signed a new trade deal on Thursday July 6, 2017, when Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe met top European Union officials in Brussels on the eve of a G20 summit of world leaders, including President Trump, in Germany.

The deal, which had been discussed since 2011, will remove almost all customs duties on European exports to Japan. Those are currently worth as much as €1 billion ($1.1 billion) a year.

That lifting import curbs on Fukushima rice, Tohoku marine products, wild vegetables, into Europe, might have been included in that trade deal package, to the detriment of the health protection of yet unaware Europeans.

n-fukushimafood-a-20170711-870x580.jpgThe European Union may lift an import restriction on rice produced in nuclear disaster-hit Fukushima Prefecture.

 

BRUSSELS – The European Union is considering lifting an import restriction on rice produced in meltdown-hit Fukushima Prefecture as well as on wild vegetables and marine products from Japan, sources said Sunday.

At present, the EU requires that radiation inspection certificates be submitted by exporters of some food products from 13 prefectures in the eastern half of the Japanese archipelago.

But the European Commission, the EU’s executive arm, has drafted import regulation reform plans that call for scrapping the requirement when it comes to rice from Fukushima, home to the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant, the sources said.

The EC also proposes removing the regulation for some kinds of seafood, including shrimp, crab, octopus, yellowtail, red sea bream and bluefin tuna, from the seven prefectures of Fukushima, Miyagi, Gunma, Ibaraki, Tochigi, Chiba and Iwate, and certain wild vegetables from seven prefectures including Akita, Nagano and Yamagata.

Meanwhile, the radiation certificate obligation will remain in place for food imports from Yamanashi, Niigata and Shizuoka prefectures.

A formal decision on the deregulation proposal could come as early as this autumn, the sources said.

The Fukushima No. 1 power plant is run by Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc.

http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2017/07/10/national/eu-looking-lift-import-curbs-fukushima-rice-tohoku-marine-products-wild-vegetables-sources/

July 10, 2017 Posted by | Fukushima 2017 | , , , | Leave a comment

Singapore keeping in place Fukushima food import curbs, six years after disaster

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Signs at Cold Storage supermarket in 2011 clarifying that food imports are from safe regions in Japan, and are tested by the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority of Singapore.

TOKYO – Singapore is keeping in place curbs on food imports from Fukushima, which six years ago on Saturday (March 11) was hit by an earthquake, tsunami and nuclear disaster, the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority of Singapore (AVA) has told The Straits Times.

This is despite the authority having announced a review on easing curbs in January last year, and Japan’s repeated insistence that its strict food safety standards already exceed international requirements.

Japan’s reconstruction minister Masahiro Imamura had said last month that it was “irrational” to restrict the import of Japanese food products that are sold on the market, lobbying countries and regions to lift their food bans on imports from the disaster-hit regions.

On March 11, 2011, a 9.0-magnitude earthquake struck under the Pacific Ocean at 2.46pm local time (1.46pm in Singapore), triggering a 10m wall of water that ravaged the north-east Japanese coast. It crippled the Fukushima No. 1 power station, causing meltdowns in three of its reactors.

The AVA did not explicitly address the reasons it has opted to retain the curbs, but a spokesman told The Straits Times on Saturday that the authority “periodically reviews food import conditions to ensure food safety for our consumers, without unnecessarily impeding trade”.

Last year’s review came as Agriculture Minister Hiroshi Moriyama requested Singapore ease its restrictions during a meeting with National Development Minister Lawrence Wong. During their talks, Mr Moriyama noted that the European Union had begun to relax its regulations on Japanese food imports.

The AVA banned the import of some food products from 11 prefectures after the incident, but some of these restrictions were lifted in 2014, after “an inspection and comprehensive risk assessment of food from Japan”.

However, curbs on seafood and other produce from several areas remain in place.

Singapore does not allow the import of seafood, agricultural produce and forest products – including wild berries, wild mushrooms and wild boar meat – from areas in Fukushima prefecture where agriculture remains banned, or within a 20km radius of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.

Meanwhile, seafood and forest-gathered or harvested products from prefectures neighbouring Fukushima – namely Ibaraki, Tochigi and Gunma – still require pre-export tests, the AVA added.

“All food products from Japan still require a certificate of origin to identify the prefecture of origin of the food product,” the AVA spokesman said on Saturday, adding that it will continue to closely monitor food imports from Japan to ensure that they comply with Singapore’s food safety requirements.

She added that current imports from Fukushima prefecture are “insignificant” and accounted for less than 0.1 per cent of total food imports worldwide last year.

Mr Imamura had said last month that 21 countries have lifted the bans while many countries and regions have “significantly relaxed” the restrictions.

He told a news conference: “Japan carries out an inspection of radioactive substances according to the world’s strictest level of standard limits based on scientific evidence. Only foods that have passed the inspection are circulated on the market. Of course, exported foods are subject to the same strict inspection process.”

But the easing of food import curbs from Fukushima remains a deeply political issue in several territories. In Taiwan, a public hearing over whether the territory should ease its ban last December was scuppered by rioting.

Mr Imamura stressed that Japanese standards, which specify general foods containing radioactive substances of 100 becquerel (Bq) or higher per 1 kg should not be sold, “are extremely strict compared to those in the European Union or the United States, or the international Codex standard”.

He said: “Last year, no rice, vegetables and fruits, livestock products, cultivated mushrooms, or seafood products grown in Fukushima prefecture were detected to have exceeded standard limits.”

He added that inspections on rice grown in Fukushima prefecture are done for “all bags of rice, not only samples”, and that in 2015 and 2016, no bags of rice exceeded the standard limit.

As for seafood, no items have exceeded the standard limits since April 2015, he said.

“It is irrational to restrict the import of Japanese food products that are sold on the market, which have passed very strict inspection,” he said. “We would like the authorities in each country and region to see these scientific and objective facts.”

http://www.straitstimes.com/asia/east-asia/singapore-keeping-in-place-fukushima-food-import-curbs-six-years-after-disaster

March 15, 2017 Posted by | Fukushima 2017 | , , , | 1 Comment

8 Taiwanese firms to be fined for importing food from radiation-affected areas

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Taipei, Dec. 18 (CNA) Fines will be imposed on eight companies which have been found to have imported foods from Japan’s radiation-affected areas, Taiwan’s Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said Sunday.

As of Sunday, a total of 39 Japanese food products and nearly 60,000 items have been pulled from store shelves in Taiwan, with many of them being soy sauce and wasabi packets that go with Japanese natto, or fermented soybeans.

FDA Northern Center Senior Executive Officer Wei Jen-ting (魏任廷) said 103 importers and 849 distributors island-wide have been questioned since Monday, urging vendors to check the food items they are selling, and notify health authorities if their products came from Fukushima, Ibaraki, Tochigi, Gunma and Chiba prefectures.

Of the 39 products, 26 have tested negative for radiation contamination, while 13 are still being screened, Wei said.

Among the eight importers of these problematic products, Tai Crown Co. (太冠公司) is subjected to a fine of NT$1 million, he said.

The FDA said it will step up inspection of food imported from Japan and will ask importers and distributors to list the places of origin, including the prefecture, on the product labels in Chinese.

Failure to provide Chinese labeling could also result in a fine of between NT$30,000 (US$937) and NT$3 million, it said.

The affected companies have one month to explain themselves, or else the fines will be issued in accordance with the law.

http://focustaiwan.tw/news/asoc/201612180019.aspx

December 19, 2016 Posted by | Fukushima 2016 | , , | Leave a comment

Taiwan recalls 37 food products from Japan’s radiation-affected area

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Taiwan recalls 37 food products from Japan’s radiation-affected area

Taipei, Dec. 16 (CNA) A total of 37 Japanese food products have been pulled from store shelves in Taiwan, after they were found to have come from Japan’s radiation-affected areas, Taiwanese authorities said Friday.

As of Thursday, 50,316 pieces of these products have been recalled, with many of them being soy sauce and wasabi packets that came with Japanese natto, or fermented soybeans, according to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

The FDA launched an inspection of food products from Japan on Dec. 12, after two brands of Japanese natto were found to contain packets of soy sauce from Ibaraki Prefecture, one of the five prefectures from which food imports have been banned.

Taiwan banned food imports from Fukushima, Ibaraki, Tochigi, Gunma and Chiba prefectures after the meltdown of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant in March 2011.

Of the 37 products, 22 have tested negative for radiation contamination, while 15 are still being screened, according to the FDA.

Under Taiwan’s ban, even food products that test negative for radiation are restricted from being sold here, as long as they came from one of the five Japanese prefectures.

Among the recalled products is a brand of natto called “Hiruzen Nattou,” which was imported by Deep Cypress Co. (柏泓企業). The soy sauce and wasabi packets that were served with the product were found to have been made in Chiba Prefecture, said Wei Jen-ting (魏任廷), an official with the FDA.

The product was sold in supermarkets in department stores such as SOGO and Shinkong Mitsukoshi, Wei said.

Meanwhile, many of the 37 products were imported by Yumaowu Enterprise Co. (裕毛屋企業), according to the FDA.

Chiu Hsiu-yi (邱秀儀), director of the FDA’s Northern Center for Regional Administration, said the FDA will step up inspection of food imported from Japan and will ask importers and distributors to list the place of origin, including the prefecture, on the product label in Chinese.

If companies refuse to abide by the rules, the FDA said it will reveal their names to the public.

Failure to provide Chinese labeling could also result in a fine of between NT$30,000 (US$937) and NT$3 million, the FDA said, adding that the public can call the hotline 1919 to report such cases.

The recall of Japanese products comes amidst strong opposition to the Taiwanese government’s hopes of lifting the ban on food exports from at least some of the five affected areas if they are found to be free of radiation.

http://focustaiwan.tw/news/asoc/201612160020.aspx

 

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Unsourced Japanese snacks removed from shelves

Taipei, Dec. 16 (CNA) Two kinds of snacks sold at a shopping mart chain in Taoyuan were found to have come from unidentified source in Japan and have been ordered removed from shelves, health officials from Taoyuan City Government said Friday.

The officials said they launched an inspection of labels of origin on food imported from Japan on Dec. 9, checking a total of 707 food products in 273 shops.

On Thursday the Chinese labels of two snacks sold in Poya LivingMart identified them as having come Gifu prefecture, but the original labeling said they were from Tochigi prefecture, one of the radiation-affected areas from which food imports are banned in Taiwan.


After checking the manufacturer’s official website, the product was found to have been manufactured in Tochigi and Iwate, not Gifu.
Health officials have instructed the shop to stop selling the products immediately.

Poya Living Mart’s 11 outlets in Taoyuan have removed a further 214 packages of related food.

The incident came at a time of growing public concern over the safety of food products from five radiation-affected prefectures in Japan.

Taiwan banned food imports from Fukushima, Ibaraki, Tochigi, Gunma and Chiba prefectures in the wake of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant meltdown following a massive earthquake and tsunami in Japan on March 11, 2011.

Following reports that the government is planning to lift the ban on food imports from four of the radiation-affected prefectures, though not Fukushima, several brands of Japanese natto containing packets of soy sauce from Chiba and Ibaraki were recently found in local retail outlets. They were also ordered removed.

http://www.taiwannews.com.tw/en/news/3053224

 

 

 

December 19, 2016 Posted by | Fukushima 2016 | , , , | Leave a comment

Taiwan to hold off on plans for problematic Japanese food imports

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Cabinet spokesman Hsu Kuo-yung (徐國勇)

 

Taipei, Dec. 16 (CNA) The government is to put on hold a planned opening of food products from radiation-affected prefectures in Japan amid public misgivings about food safety, a Cabinet spokesman said Friday.

Hsu Kuo-yung (徐國勇) said in a news conference Friday that the Cabinet “has to first ensure a sound inspection and management mechanism,” before talking about any opening to food products from the affected areas of Japan.

Hsu pointed out that Premier Lin Chuan (林全) has stressed the importance of “rebuilding public trust in the government’s management of food safety,” after presiding over a cross-agency meeting the previous day.

The premier also said that “without a sound inspection and management mechanism, there can be no question of such an opening,” according to Hsu.

Taiwan banned food imports from Fukushima, Ibaraki, Tochigi, Gunma and Chiba prefectures in the wake of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant meltdown following a massive earthquake and tsunami in Japan on March 11, 2011.

Amid reports that the government is planning to lift its ban on food imports from the radiation-affected prefectures except for Fukushima, several brands of Japanese natto containing packets of soy sauce from Chiba and Ibaraki have recently been found in Taiwan.

Hsu said that although food products from Fukushima and the surrounding prefectures are banned, there are composite packaging foods, such as the condiment sashets in packages of instant noodles, that have not been subjected to scrutiny.

“The government will review the issue and plug the loopholes,” Hsu said.

Before establishing a sound management mechanism, the government will not make a decision, “and there is no timetable for any such opening,” Hsu said.

He said that there will be three more public hearings on imports of controversial Japanese food products, saying that holding the public hearings is significant in three ways.

They are aimed at establishing a model for future public hearings, then at clarifying false information, as the public has seen all kinds of rumors flying recently.

The public hearings will also be presided over by civic groups rather than by government officials as in previous hearings, in a bid to collect views from the public on how to plug loopholes for the reference of the government, he said.

Sheu Fuu (許輔), director of food safety office under the Executive Yuan, said that all questions raised by the civic groups will be discussed and clarified one by one.

The Cabinet held 10 public hearings on the safety of Japanese products around Taiwan from Nov. 12-14 after announcing them Nov. 10, but critics saw them as essentially being held for show to pave the way for lifting the ban.

Questions were raised about why the government seemed in such a rush to hold the hearings, and some of them ended in chaos amid protests.

Sheu said that if the public still cannot accept the situation after the three public hearings, the government will review the contentious points, and if it cannot resolve such points and effectively manage food safety, “it will not rule out the possibility of maintaining the current ban.”

http://focustaiwan.tw/news/aipl/201612160007.aspx

December 16, 2016 Posted by | Fukushima 2016 | , , | Leave a comment

Japanese dried mushroom sample detected with trace level of radioactivity

Hong Kong (HKSAR) – The Centre for Food Safety (CFS) of the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department said today (September 8) that a loose-packed dried mushroom sample, imported from Japan, was detected with a low level of radioactivity. Follow-up is in progress.

Japanese dried mushroom sample detected with trace level of radioactivity

Hong Kong (HKSAR) –      The Centre for Food Safety (CFS) of the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department said today (September 8) that a loose-packed dried mushroom sample, imported from Japan, was detected with a low level of radioactivity. Follow-up is in progress.

“The CFS collected the dried mushroom sample from a retail outlet in Sheung Wan for radiation testing under its routine Food Surveillance Programme. According to the information provided by the retail outlet, the product concerned was imported from Japan. The test result showed that the sample was detected with Caesium-137 at a level of 24 becquerels per kilogram (Bq/kg).

The standard laid down by the Codex Alimentarius Commission in the guideline levels for radionuclides in foods contaminated following a nuclear or radiological emergency is 1 000 Bq/kg for Caesium-137. The radiation level detected does not exceed the Codex guideline level,” a spokesman for the CFS said.

The CFS has informed the vendor concerned of the test result. The vendor has voluntarily stopped sale and removed from shelves the affected product.

In the wake of the Fukushima nuclear power plant incident, the CFS has enhanced radiation testing on food imported from Japan at import, wholesale and retail levels since March 12, 2011.

The CFS updates the results and figures of food surveillance on imported Japanese food on its website every working day (including those cases detected with low levels of radioactivity).

The CFS will continue to closely monitor information from Japan as well as the radiation test results of Japanese food products in Hong Kong and elsewhere. It will review and adjust, if necessary, the surveillance strategy on food products imported from Japan in a timely manner, making reference to the recommendations of international authorities, to safeguard food safety.

Please refer to the CFS website for results of the food surveillance on Japanese food: http://www.cfs.gov.hk/english/programme/programme_rafs/programme_rafs_fc_01_30_Nuclear_Event_and_Food_Safety.html” target=”_blank”>www.cfs.gov.hk/english/programme/programme_rafs/programme_rafs_fc_01_30_Nuclear_Event_and_Food_Safety.html.

http://7thspace.com/headlines/530211/japanese_dried_mushroom_sample_detected_with_trace_level_of_radioactivity.html

September 9, 2016 Posted by | Fukushima 2016 | , , , | Leave a comment

Japan urges Hong Kong to lift ban on food from areas near Fukushima plant

HONG KONG – Agricultural minister Yuji Yamamoto said in Hong Kong on Thursday that he has requested the territory to lift a food ban that restricts imports from five Japanese prefectures most affected by a radiation-leak scare following the Great East Japan Earthquake in 2011.

Imports of Japanese food, including milk, vegetables and fruits, from Fukushima, Ibaraki, Tochigi, Gunma and Chiba prefectures have been banned since March 2011 following the magnitude-9 earthquake and subsequent tsunami that led to the nuclear plant meltdowns over worries about contamination by radioactive substances.

However, meat, poultry, eggs and aquatic products can be imported with radiation certificates stating their safety.

I made a request to (Chief Secretary for Administration Carrie Lam during a meeting Wednesday), if the regulation on the import of food from Japan could be relaxed and be eliminated,” Yamamoto told media at the opening of the annual Food Expo, where a record number of more than 250 Japanese companies are in Hong Kong promoting their products, including those from the prefectures of Fukushima and Kumamoto, which was hit by a series of earthquakes in April.

(On Friday) I should have a meeting with Secretary for Food and Health Ko Wing-man. I expect that they will respond after very careful consideration and deliberation,” he said, adding that he wishes there could be a scientific-based analysis of products from Fukushima to eliminate the reputational damage.

Ko said monitoring will remain for the safety of Hong Kong people.

We have been relying on a risk- and evidence-based method to decide on the prohibition of fresh food imports from five Japanese prefectures,” Ko told reporters after touring the food fair. “We have continued to examine the progress made in Japan’s handling of the Fukushima nuclear incident,” including the measures they have put in place and test results on the food, he said.

We will look at all the information and make decisions on a scientific basis. In the upcoming meeting (with Yamamoto), we will explain to them Hong Kong’s position, which, most importantly, is that we will manage food safety based on the well-being of Hong Kong people,” he said.

The value of Japan’s agricultural, forestry and fishery exports last year reached a record-high ¥745 billion ($7.34 billion). Hong Kong remained the top destination for the 11th consecutive year, with a value of ¥179 billion, marking a 33 percent increase from 2014, according to ministry data.

The sale of dried sea cucumber, considered a healthy seafood delicacy, to Hong Kong registered a slight decline, while sales of instant noodles increased by 50 percent, which Yamamoto said was a “major surprise.”

Eliza Au, 40, owner of a startup private kitchen, said after sampling products from Kumamoto Prefecture she is confident in the quality of Japanese food.

The fruit, the Wagyu beef, all went under strict safety inspections, and the seasoning, the mix and match are all so appealing,” Au said.

The food fair, which showcases some 1,400 exhibitors from 26 countries and regions, will run through Monday.

http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2016/08/12/business/japan-urges-h-k-lift-ban-food-areas-near-fukushima-plant/#.V62BpjXKO-d

August 12, 2016 Posted by | Fukushima 2016 | , , | Leave a comment