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South Korea to increase radiation testing of Japanese food

My respect to South Korea: the one and only country to protect its population from Japanese radiation contaminated products and to protest against japan’s plan to dump all the Fukushima radioactive water into our Pacific ocean. I would like to hear the countries protesting and our elected politicians have at heart to defend as well the health of their citizens!
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South Korea to increase radiation testing of Japanese food
August 21, 2019
SEOUL (Reuters) – South Korea said on Wednesday it will double the radiation testing of some Japanese food exports due to potential contamination from the tsunami-damaged Fukushima nuclear plant.
Relations between the two U.S. allies are at their worst in years, with a trade row rooted in a decades-old dispute over compensation for South Koreans forced to work during Japan’s wartime occupation of the Korean Peninsula.
South Korea has stepped up demands this month for a Japanese response to concerns food produced in the Fukushima area and nearby sea could be contaminated by radiation from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant that was severely damaged by the 2011 tsunami.
South Korea’s Ministry of Food and Drug Safety (MFDS) said on Wednesday that it will double the frequency of testing of any food products with a history of being returned in the past five years after trace amounts of radiation were detected.
“As public concerns about radioactive contamination have been rising recently, we are planning a more thorough inspection starting August 23,” said Lee Seoung-yong, director-general at MFDS.
The affected food imports from Japan will be relatively minimal, as only about two tonnes are returned out of about 190,000 tonnes of total Japanese food imports annually, Lee said.
An official at Japan’s Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries said Japanese food products were safe and the increased radiation testing was unnecessary.
“Safety of Japanese food items has been secured and no additional restrictions are necessary. Many countries have agreed with this and got rid of import restrictions completely … It is very regrettable that these additional measures will be implemented,” the official told Reuters.
The 2020 Tokyo Olympics organizers said on Tuesday that South Korea’s National Olympic Committee had sent a letter expressing concern at the possibility of produce grown in Fukushima prefecture being served to athletes in the Olympic village.
South Korea’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Monday summoned the economy minister from the Japanese embassy in Seoul over media reports and international environmental groups’ claims that Japan plans to release contaminated water from the Fukushima plant into the ocean.
In April, South Korea won the bulk of its appeal in a dispute at the World Trade Organization over import bans and testing requirements it had imposed on Japanese seafood in the wake of the 2011 Fukushima disaster.
 
 
S.Korea to tighten checks on food from Japan
August 21, 2019
The South Korean government says it will tighten radiation checks on food products imported from Japan.
Following the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant accident in March 2011, South Korea banned imports of marine products from eight Japanese prefectures and farm products from 14 prefectures. Other food items are tested for radiation upon arrival in South Korea.
South Korea’s Food and Drug Safety Ministry announced on Wednesday that 17 food products that have tested positive for even minute amounts of radiation in the past will be screened twice, starting on Friday. The items include processed seafood, blueberries, tea and coffee.
South Korea’s government announced earlier this month that it is stepping up radiation checks on coal ash and three types of recyclable imports from Japan.
On Monday, South Korea’s Foreign Ministry summoned a senior Japanese Embassy official for an explanation of Japan’s plan to release into the ocean water containing radioactive substances generated at the Fukushima Daiichi plant.
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August 22, 2019 Posted by | fukushima 2019 | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Less bluster, but no compromise seen as South Korean, Japan ministers meet in China

2019-08-20T083741Z_1_LYNXNPEF7J0EG_RTROPTP_3_SOUTHKOREA-JAPAN-LABORERS.JPGA police officer stands guard near Japan and South Korea national flags at a hotel, where the South Korean embassy in Japan is.

 

August 20, 2019

SEOUL/TOKYO (Reuters) – South Korea and Japan have toned down the rhetoric but show little sign of compromise in a bitter political and economic dispute as their foreign ministers prepare to meet in China this week.

Relations between the two U.S. allies are at their worst in years, with a trade row rooted in a decades-old dispute over compensation for Koreans forced to work during Japan’s wartime occupation of South Korea.

Foreign ministers Kang Kyung-wha of South Korea, Taro Kono of Japan and Wang Yi of China will have trilateral meetings in Beijing from Tuesday evening to Thursday.

“We will have to actively express our position, but I am leaving with a heavy heart because the situation is very difficult,” Kang said before departing for China where a one-on-one meeting with Kono is set for Wednesday.

Their August meeting in Bangkok, where cameras captured the unsmiling pair making perfunctory handshakes, achieved little. A day later, Japan cut South Korea from a white list of favored trade partners, drawing retaliatory measures from Seoul.

“We expect to exchange views on various issues between Japan and the ROK, such as the issue of former civilian workers from the Korean Peninsula,” Japan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement, using the initials of South Korea’s official name, the Republic of Korea.

The Beijing talks would reaffirm Japan’s “close bilateral cooperation” with South Korea, as well as trilateral ties with the United States, the ministry said.

Since the Bangkok meeting, Seoul has urged a “cooling off period” and Japan approved shipments of a high-tech material to South Korea for the second time since imposing export curbs in July.

Nevertheless, the dispute is far from over.

South Korea warned this month it may consider revoking a military intelligence sharing pact with Japan, though an official at the presidential Blue House said on Tuesday no decision had been taken.

Seoul has also raised concerns about Japan’s handling of contaminated water from the Fukushima nuclear plant, a South Korea official said, though it may not bring it up in Beijing.

South Korea and other countries have restrictions on imports of produce from areas around the Fukushima site where three reactors melted down after an earthquake and tsunami in 2011.

NOT SO NICE FACE

While both sides have moderated their public statements, observers do not expect any major breakthroughs this week.

“I don’t think Japan is going to show a nice face to Seoul this time,” said one former Japanese diplomat familiar with the government’s position.

Japan believes South Korea’s economy is hurting more in the trade row, and “doesn’t mind waiting for further concessions from Seoul,” said the ex-diplomat.

Citing national security, Japan in July restricted exports of some key materials used in chips and displays made by South Korea firms, threatening to disrupt the global supply chain.

Later this month a decision to remove South Korea from Japan’s list of trading partners with fast-track access to a number of materials is scheduled to go into effect.

South Korea has responded by removing Japan from its own trade white list, and South Korean consumers are boycotting Japanese products and avoiding travel to Japan.

There also has been no progress in resolving the issue that triggered the latest chill in relations – a series of South Korean court rulings that ordered Japanese firms to compensate South Koreans forced to work for Japanese occupiers.

“I don’t think we can expect a big change in the situation as a result of tomorrow’s meeting because the forced labor issue is at the root of the deterioration in ties and there hasn’t been any new development regarding that,” said Kyungjoo Kim, a professor at Tokai University in Tokyo.

https://kdal610.com/news/articles/2019/aug/20/less-bluster-but-no-compromise-seen-as-south-korean-japan-ministers-meet-in-china/929015/?refer-section=world

 

August 22, 2019 Posted by | fukushima 2019 | , , , | Leave a comment

European Commission crooks willing to sell out our health!

Praise be the Korean government which stood to protect their people’s health over hanky-panky  economics, unlike many other governments.
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European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, left, and European Council President Donald Tusk, second left, sit at the table with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, right, at the start of their working lunch on the sidelines of the G-20 summit at the International Exhibition Center in Osaka, Japan, on June 27, 2019.
EU likely to ease restrictions on Japanese food imports
June 27, 2019
OSAKA (Kyodo) — The European Union said Thursday it expects to remove restrictions on some Japanese food imports, including Fukushima Prefecture-grown soybeans, amid receding concerns about radiation contamination linked to the 2011 nuclear disaster.
According to the Japanese government, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker told Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe the requirement for radiation inspection certificates is likely to be canceled. The two leaders were meeting a day before the start of a two-day summit of the Group of 20 major economies in Osaka.
The European Commission expects the lifting of the requirement to be finalized as early as this fall after it obtains the approval of member countries.
The change impacts food products from Iwate, Tochigi and Chiba prefectures, as well as seafood from Miyagi, Ibaraki and Gunma prefectures, a Japanese government official told a press briefing. The testing requirements would also be lifted for some types of mushrooms.
The move will follow the European Union’s lifting of a ban on rice produced in Fukushima in 2017.
In the meeting, in which European Council President Donald Tusk was also present, Juncker and Abe also discussed the need to reform the World Trade Organization and geopolitical issues including North Korea and heightened tensions in the Middle East, the official said.

June 27, 2019 Posted by | fukushima 2019 | , , | Leave a comment

South Korea plans to continue to ban all seafood imports from Fukushima Prefecture and seven other prefectures near Fukushima to protect public health and food safety

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SEJONG, May 7 (Yonhap) — South Korea’s new ocean minister vowed Tuesday to ensure that potentially dangerous seafood will not reach South Korean tables.
“There should never be anything that could compromise public health” and food safety, Moon Seong-hyeok, minister of oceans and fisheries, said in a meeting with reporters ahead of his planned meeting with the top Japanese envoy.
Moon is set to meet with Japan’s Ambassador to South Korea Yasumasa Nakamine in Sejong, an administrative hub located 130 kilometers southeast of Seoul, on Wednesday at Nakamine’s request.
Moon plans to stress that South Korea’s import restrictions on Japanese seafood are a legitimate measure meant to protect public health.
South Korea banned all seafood imports from eight Japanese prefectures near Fukushima in 2013. The move came after Japan announced the leak of contaminated water following the 2011 meltdown of the Fukushima nuclear power plant.
In April, the World Trade Organization finalized its ruling in favor of South Korea’s import restrictions on Japanese seafood.
Moon also plans to call for a quick conclusion to South Korea-Japan fisheries negotiations, according to the ministry.
The last bilateral fisheries agreement expired in June 2016. South Korea and Japan have since failed to narrow their differences on fishing quotas and other issues.
Last month, Moon sent a letter to Japan calling for fisheries talks, though there has been no response from Japan.
https://en.yna.co.kr/view/AEN20190507008000320?fbclid=IwAR2lhWxIqnXaIibyjYLtE8bqJp03sBCNpYms0v52KSkj_F2UDCzvbiCO47s

May 8, 2019 Posted by | fukushima 2019 | , , , | Leave a comment

Exports of Fukushima-brand alcohol hit record in fiscal 2017

What is wrong with those people? Are they just uninformed? Ignorant? Don’t they know, understand that this sake is made with Fukushima rice, a radiation contaminated rice…. To drink alcohol is one thing, but to drink radiation contaminated alcohol is like having a death wish….

n-fukushimafile-z-20181119-870x581.jpgThe United States imported 118,000 liters — 77,000 liters of sake and 41,000 liters of other alcohol, accounting for 40 percent of the prefecture’s alcohol export.

November 18, 2018
Exports of sake, liquor and other alcoholic beverages produced in Fukushima Prefecture reached a record high of about 296,000 liters in fiscal 2017, or 3.2 times that of fiscal 2012, when the Fukushima Trade Promotion Council, in charge of supporting business activities among local companies and municipalities, began monitoring the figures.
The total value of alcohol exports was ¥363.37 million, up 16 percent from the year before.
The Fukushima Prefectural Government plans to further promote the safety and attraction of local alcohol, aiming to rebuild its reputation after the nuclear meltdowns at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant in March 2011.
In fiscal 2017, the amount of sake exported rose 11.9 percent from a year earlier to 179,000 liters, worth ¥204.69 million. Other alcohol, including whiskey, plum wine, and shōchū(spirits) jumped 23 percent to 117,000 liters, worth ¥158.68 million.
The United States imported 118,000 liters — 77,000 liters of sake and 41,000 liters of other alcohol, accounting for 40 percent of the prefecture’s alcohol export. France imported 53,000 liters — 2,000 liters of sake and 51,000 liters of other alcohol — accounting for 18.1 percent. South Korea imported 39,000 liters of sake, accounting for 13.2 percent.
Out of all the sake produced in Fukushima, 43.1 percent was exported to the U.S. To take advantage of the trend and the popularity of Japanese cuisine in America, the prefecture will launch an antenna shop in New York to sell Fukushima-brand sake by the end of March.
The prefecture will also release about three PR videos with English subtitles on YouTube to promote local sake to English-speaking consumers.
Fukushima aims to increase its alcohol exports to 500,000 liters, worth ¥700 million, by the end of fiscal 2020. It also plans to reinforce sales by focusing on five countries and regions including the U.S., France, where sake is becoming increasingly popular, and Hong Kong, where there are a number of Japanese restaurants.
However, out of the 58 breweries in the Fukushima Prefecture Sake Brewers Cooperative, only 24 had exported their sake abroad. To achieve the prefecture’s goal, the next thing they will need to do is to increase the number of sake exporters.
“It was the result of each maker’s efforts to improve the taste,” Yoshihiro Ariga, chairman of the cooperative, said in referring to the record exports in fiscal 2017.
But he also said further support will be needed.
“It costs a huge amount of money and effort to export sake,” Ariga said, urging municipalities to provide further assistance to small breweries.
According to the Finance Ministry, 23,482,000 liters of sake were exported in 2017, breaking the record for an eighth consecutive year.
https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2018/11/18/national/exports-fukushima-brand-alcohol-hit-record-fiscal-2017/#.W_gTe_ZFzIU

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November 25, 2018 Posted by | Fukushima 2018 | , , , | Leave a comment

Japanese 100-yen shop slapped with fine, 2-year import ban in Taiwan

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TAIPEI (Kyodo) — Taiwan authorities said Wednesday that Japanese 100-yen shop chain Daiso has been fined NT$41.64 million (US$1.38 million) for falsifying import application documents and banned from importing goods from Japan for two years.

Foreign Trade Bureau deputy chief Lee Guann-jyh told a legislative committee that the punishments have been meted out to Hiroshima-based Daiso Industries Co., which has been operating in Taiwan since 2001 and has about 60 stories here.
 
In November 2015, Daiso received a six-month import ban for having illegally imported food products from parts of Japan affected by 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster between July 2014 and March 2015, and selling them with falsified labels of origin.
 
During that six-month period, Daiso could still import goods from Japan on a case-by-case basis after obtaining permission from the bureau.
 
But in doing so, it falsified the dates of the imported goods, altering them to predate the six-month ban period that began in November 2015. A total of 694 import application documents were fraudulent, according to the bureau.
On April 27, the company held a press conference in which it apologized to Taiwanese consumers.
 

May 24, 2018 Posted by | Fukushima 2018 | , , , | Leave a comment

WTO rules in favor of Japan on South Korea’s post-Fukushima seafood ban

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The World Trade Organization (WTO) has ruled in favor of Japan, in a dispute about South Korea’s ban on imports of Japanese seafood, reports KBS World Radio.
 
The WTO reaffirmed the ruling in a report in February, four months after it made the decision last October. In response, the Korean government filed an appeal against the ruling by the Geneva-based organization on April 9.
 
The dispute dates back to 2011, when Japan was hit by a massive earthquake and suffered a nuclear power plant meltdown in Fukushima. Amid fears of radioactive leaks from quake-hit Japan, South Korea prohibited imports of agro-fishery products from Fukushima.
 
In 2013, the ban was expanded to include 28 fishery products from eight Japanese prefectures near Fukushima. Japan took the case to the WTO in protest. The WTO ruled in favor of Japan in its first hearing, saying that South Korea’s measures lacked transparency. In turn, Korea’s trade ministry has filed an appeal against the ruling.
 

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

Hong Kong will not lift post-Fukushima ban on some Japanese food

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In meeting with Tokyo’s foreign minister, Chief Executive Carrie Lam says restrictions will stay in place for now, while government reaffirms commitment to enforcing sanctions against North Korea
 
Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor on Sunday rejected for the time being Tokyo’s official request that the city lift restrictions on Japanese food imports brought in after the Fukushima nuclear disaster, citing public safety.
 
The chief executive also reaffirmed that the city had been strictly enforcing sanctions against North Korea, during her meeting at Government House with Japanese foreign minister Taro Kono, as he wrapped up his two-day visit to Hong Kong on Sunday.
 
Lam expressed her reluctance to lift the food ban, after Kono raised the possibility during the meeting.
 
In the wake of the 2011 earthquake and nuclear disaster in Fukushima, Hong Kong banned the import of fresh produce and milk from the prefecture and the four neighbouring prefectures, while conducting targeted radiation testing on fresh produce from the rest of Japan.
 
“She emphasised that it is incumbent upon the [government] to safeguard public health and hence effective measures must be in place to ensure food safety and to maintain public confidence,” a statement issued by Lam’s office read.
 
“Under this premise, the Food and Health Bureau will maintain communication with the Japanese authorities to review the latest situation and adopt appropriate measures in relation to the import ban.”
 
Secretary for Food and Health Professor Sophia Chan Siu-chee said her department had been in touch with Japan’s agriculture ministry over the ban and that “food safety is the primary concern”.
 
Kono was the first Japanese foreign minister to visit Hong Kong for bilateral matters since the former British colony returned to Chinese rule in 1997, according to the Japanese foreign ministry. Earlier on Sunday, he visited the Aeon department store in Tai Koo, where he tasted food from Aizu in Fukushima, including rice, sake and ramen – exempted from the ban because they are not fresh produce.
 
“It is scientifically proven it is very safe and those people from Hong Kong who come to Japan [are] already eating spinach and cucumbers from Fukushima. And I think Hong Kong people who have been to Japanese restaurants have eaten Fukushima vegetables and fruit,” Kono told NowTV. 
“I would like to tell the Hong Kong people to come to Japan and enjoy the food in Japan.”
 
The city’s importers and legislators earlier urged Lam to be cautious about Tokyo’s request to lift restrictions on Japanese food imports, saying the government had to make sure all imports would not be contaminated with radiation.
 
Hong Kong is the largest export destination of Japanese agricultural, forestry and fishery products.
 
The two officials’ exchange came ahead of a North-South summit on the Korean peninsula next month, and US President Donald Trump’s possible meeting with the North’s leader Kim Jong-un before the end of May.
 
UN reports in recent weeks said Hong Kong companies were being used as fronts for North Korean businesses, to help it circumvent UN sanctions. Last month the US slapped sanctions on nine companies outside North Korea that were working on Pyongyang’s behalf. Two were based in mainland China and five in Hong Kong.
 
Lam took the opportunity to say her government was following the sanctions.
 
“Mrs Lam also reiterated to Mr Kono that Hong Kong has all along been strictly implementing the sanction measures decided by the United Nations Security Council on North Korea, and that Hong Kong will stay highly vigilant about activities and suspected cases that may violate the sanctions,” the statement read.
 
According to Japanese news agency Kyodo, both sides affirmed their collaboration in preventing North Korea from evading the sanctions. This was in response to incident in which a Hong Kong-registered tanker was found to have secretly transferred oil to a North Korean vessel in international waters last year.
 

March 26, 2018 Posted by | Fukushima 2018 | , , , | Leave a comment

Intensive campaign from Japanese diplomats to push other countries to lift their ban on Japanese contaminated produce

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Japan requests Hong Kong to lift ban on food from Fukushima, vicinity
March 25, 2018
HONG KONG (Kyodo) — Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono met with Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam on Sunday and requested the territory lift a ban on imports of agricultural products from Japanese prefectures near the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.
 
Hong Kong has banned imports of fruit and vegetables from Fukushima Prefecture and four surrounding prefectures, citing the nuclear disaster at the plant triggered by a massive earthquake and tsunami in March 2011.
 
The Japanese government hopes to enhance economic ties with the territory by paving the way for Hong Kong to lift the import ban. Tokyo also hopes Hong Kong’s action would lead China to relax similar restrictions, as Beijing has banned food imports from 10 Japanese prefectures.
 
Kono and Lam also affirmed cooperation in preventing North Korea from evading sanctions through ship-to-ship cargo transfers in international waters.
 
A Hong Kong-flagged vessel is believed to have secretly transferred oil to a North Korean vessel in October in a ship-to-ship transfer prohibited by the U.N. Security Council.
 
It is the first time in 21 years that a Japanese foreign minister has visited Hong Kong apart from international conferences. During their meeting, Kono and Lam also agreed to accelerate cooperation on tourism.
 

March 25, 2018 Posted by | Fukushima 2018 | , , | Leave a comment

KMT vows to challenge Japan food imports with referendum

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Taipei, April 6 (CNA) Opposition Kuomintang (KMT) Vice Chairman Hau Lung-bin (郝龍斌) said on Thursday he will officially submit a proposal for the holding of a national referendum on food safety if the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) administration lifts a ban on the import of food products from radiation-affected prefectures in Japan.

The proposal has obtained more than 120,000 signatures, Hau said.

In addition, if the DPP government opens Taiwan’s market to ractopamine-containing pork from the United States, the KMT will mobilize the public to protest at customs offices, he said.

Under the Referendum Act, the authorization of a referendum requires that no less than 0.5 percent of the total electorate at the last presidential election sign a petition.

Because there were 18.78 million eligible voters at the last election on Jan. 16, 2016, Hau’s proposal needs to be supported by at least 93,900 signatures and then approved by the Referendum Review Committee.

Taiwan has banned imports of food products from five prefectures in Japan – Fukushima, Gunma, Chiba, Ibaraki and Tochigi – that were contaminated by radiation following the meltdown of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant in March 2011, a catastrophe triggered by a massive earthquake and tsunami.

Taiwan’s government is now considering lifting the ban on food from all the prefectures except Fukushima, but has run into virulent public opposition.
http://focustaiwan.tw/news/aipl/201704060017.aspx#.WOhNDdKzEuk.facebook

April 8, 2017 Posted by | Fukushima 2017 | , , , , | 1 Comment