The Chinese government will comprehensively suspend seafood imports from Japan in response to the start of the release of treated wastewater from the wrecked Fukushima nuclear power plant.”
The Chinese customs office said in a statement that this step affects aquatic products coming from Japan and takes effect from Thursday. The statement stated that the decision aims to prevent the risks of radioactive contamination resulting from nuclear wastewater and ensure food safety.
Beijing earlier this week pledged to take unspecified “necessary steps” to protect food safety and the marine environment. Earlier on Thursday, China’s environment ministry said it would step up radiation monitoring in the country’s marine areas and monitor any impact from the launch.
China already bans food imports from 10 prefectures around the Fukushima plant. This week, the Hong Kong government announced a ban on seafood imports from those same provinces, four of which are landlocked.
The Japanese government has repeatedly said that the launch will meet safety standards, and similar discharges of treated nuclear wastewater are relatively common in the nuclear sector.
A two-year review by the International Atomic Energy Agency concluded that Japan’s strategy would have little impact on people and the environment.