Disasters & Accidents

Japan welcomes US’ decision to lift Fukushima food product ban

Tokyo, Sep 22 (EFE).- Japan on Wednesday welcomed the United States’ decision to lift a ban placed on food products from Japanese prefectures located around the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant since the 2011 nuclear accident.

The lifting of the measure by the Food and Drug Administration on Tuesday means that the Asian country will be able to export 100 products from a total of 13 prefectures, including rice from Fukushima, and shiitake mushrooms from neighboring Tochigi and Ibaraki prefectures, to the US, the Japanese government announced.

Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga said on his Twitter account that the decision was long-awaited and would greatly contribute in the reconstruction of the areas affected by the 2011 disaster.

The US is the third largest importer of Japanese food products. In 2020, the total volume of such imports from Japan exceeded $1 billion.

A total of 14 countries and territories, including China, South Korea and Taiwan, maintain some form of restriction on imports of Japanese food products as a result of the nuclear disaster in Fukushima.

The European Union has announced plans to begin easing some of the restrictions it maintains on these products from October and after the trade agreement it signed with Japan.

Top government spokesperson Katsunobu Kato said on Wednesday that Japan will continue working with the rest of the countries so that they lift the restrictions.

The nuclear accident at the Fukushima Daiichi power plant triggered by the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami resulted in the release of radioactive material that dispersed in the areas around the plant.

A decade later, the region is yet to fully recover from the accident despite cleanup and decontamination efforts. EFE


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