Tokyo, Oct 3 (EFE).- Japan’s authorities and businesses have mobilized to promote the consumption of locally caught seafood since the government started releasing treated Fukushima wastewater into the Pacific Ocean.
The release of the wastewater prompted China to ban imports of Japanese marine products, and generated boycotts and suspicion among consumers.
From the end of this month, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government will launch a points campaign to reward consumption and purchases in stores and restaurants specializing in fish in an attempt to support the sales of these products, a spokesperson for the capital’s authorities told EFE on Tuesday.
Restaurants across the country have also launched their own campaigns in support of fishers, including the Kurazushi sushi store chain, where a nationwide promotion for scallop consumption is currently in effect.
Scallops have experienced a sharp drop in price. Along with sea cucumbers, they are one of the main marine consumables that Japan exports to China and that have been affected by Beijing’s ban imposed following the start of the discharge of water from Fukushima nuclear power plant on Aug. 24.
Among other businesses that have joined this trend are the Izumiya sushi restaurant chain, the Takashimaya department store, which in cities such as Osaka is promoting fishmonger products, and Aeon supermarkets, which are carrying out additional tests to reassure consumers.
Japan’s Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, as well as several ministers, politicians and even diplomats, have shared photos of eating fish and other products since the discharge, which international regulatory authorities have deemed safe.
China has been most critical of the release, not only imposing its ban at government level, but it is also believed to be behind a campaign of telephone harassment against Japanese businesses.
According to data from the Ministry of Finance, Japanese exports of seafood to China (excluding processed) fell 75.7 percent year-on-year in August, to 2.18 trillion yen. EFE