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Japan: Tokyo threatens Beijing to lodge complaint at WTO over Fukushima-driven Chinese ban on Japanese seafood

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During a press conference in Tokyo on Tuesday, Japanese Foreign Minister Hayashi Yoshimasa announced that Japan might file a complaint against China at the World Trade Organisation (WTO) over China’s ban on Japanese seafood after the release of radioactive treated water from the Fukushima nuclear plant.

According to Hayashi Yoshimasa, Japan would not approve Chinese ban decision as they were not supported by ‘scientific evidence’.

« Japan has been raising issues at the WTO in response to China’s import restrictions on Japanese food products that have no scientific basis. We will continue to take necessary measures for this measure under the WTO framework, » said Hayashi Yoshimasa, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan.

« Japan will assert what needs to be asserted and strongly urge China to act responsibly, while at the same time taking into consideration the Chinese response to the ALPS (Advanced Liquid Processing System) water treatment plant last year, » He added.

The Japanese foreign minister also added that Tokyo aims to continue dialogue on the issue and to build a constructive and stable relationship through the efforts of both sides.

« Under this policy, we will strongly urge the Chinese side to act responsibly with regard to this (Advanced Liquid Processing System) ALPS-treated water, while firmly insisting on the Japanese side’s position. To this end, we would like to maintain close and close communication with the Chinese side, » he added.

Tensions between Japan and its largest trading partner have been growing over the issue threatening economic ties. Chinese authorities prohibited the import of Japanese seafood, which is a significant hit to Japan’s fishing industry as China typically purchases about half of Japan’s seafood exports.

Japanese authorities activated pumps and valves for the first spill of treated water Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant into the Pacific Ocean. This operation is expected to last around 17 days.

An inquiry by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) found that the proposal to release the water was ‘consistent’ with international safety standards and would have a ‘negligible’ impact on people and the environment.

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