Disasters & Accidents

Japan welcomes UK’s lifting of Fukushima product ban

Tokyo, Jun 29 (EFE).- Japan on Wednesday welcomed the United Kingdom’s decision to lift a ban on food products imported from Fukushima, the Japanese prefecture hit by the 2011 nuclear disaster.

“The government of Japan has strongly urged the UK government to lift the restrictions through various opportunities, including the Japan-UK Summit meeting in May this year,” the Japanese foreign ministry said in a statement Wednesday, adding that it “welcomes the fact that the UK government reached this decision based on scientific evidence, as it will support the reconstruction of the affected areas.”

The lifting of the ban imposed by the UK as a result of the disaster that occurred more than a decade ago at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant comes into force on Wednesday.

In a meeting on Tuesday at the G7 summit in Germany, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and his British counterpart, Boris Johnson, welcomed the lifting of UK import restrictions.

“I’m delighted that tomorrow, finally, we are able to have Fukushima-origin products all over the shops in the UK,” Johnson said.

The ban was introduced as part of a common regulation of the European Union and remained in force after the UK’s exit from the bloc.

In 2020, the EU lifted its ban on imports of seafood and forest products from Fukushima and other neighboring regions with the requirement of an analytical report of radioactivity and certificates of origin.

The Japanese government said that it will “continue to work towards the early lifting of the remaining import restrictions in the EU and other countries and regions,” including China and South Korea.

A powerful earthquake and tsunami struck Japan on Mar. 11, 2011, triggering the worst nuclear disaster since the Chernobyl accident in 1986.

The contamination of areas near the plant with radioactive material caused serious damage to the local fishing, agricultural and livestock industries, which have not yet fully recovered, and still keeps thousands of people displaced from their homes. EFE


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