*Note: This is a provisional translation for reference purposes only.
Friday, September 8, 2023
In front of the House of Representatives cafeteria
China’s suspension of imports of foodstuffs
Q: I would like to ask you about China’s import suspension related to treated water. China suspended imports of foodstuffs from 10 prefectures, and boycotts are spreading over products not directly targeted by the measure. What is the damage as assessed by the government? Also, please tell me about support for industries other than fisheries and other measures to deal with the import suspension.
A: In cooperation with JETRO and industry associations, we are striving to collect information to clarify the current situation. On August 24, JETRO’s prefectural offices across Japan opened special counters for consultation. We have strengthened the system for consultation with businesses affected by the discharge of ALPS treated water into the sea, including those outside the fishery industry.
I have heard that most of the cases referred to those counters are related to fishery products, which are directly affected by the measure. But I understand that in some cases, companies handling cosmetics, seasonings and Japanese sake have requested consultations. Regarding cosmetics, for example, there is information indicating that some Chinese customs offices are requiring documentation certifying the products are radiation-free. However, I have heard from the cosmetics industry that there have been few such cases. At present, I understand that there are no major disruptions. Even so, we will keep monitoring future developments. We will carefully collect information about the impact not only on fishery products but also on other products and consider taking actions flexibly in accordance with the situation while cooperating with relevant ministries and agencies.