China BANS sale of Japanese seafood due to Fukushima radiation contamination – Tokyo to file appeal at WTO
Not everyone is a-okay with Japan’s recent decision to dilute radioactive wastewater from the melted-down Fukushima nuclear power plant and dump it back into the Pacific Ocean, most notably communist China, which is no longer buying seafood from Japan due to concerns about it being contaminated with radiation.
According to reports, China is blocking all further import shipments of seafood from Japan, despite reassurances from the government of Japan and even the United Nations (UN) nuclear watchdog group International Atomic Energy Agency, which says everything is going to be just fine.
Chinese consumers, we are told, want more studies to be conducted before they dare to ever touch another piece of fish from their neighbors to the east. Many of them are calling for a boycott of other Japanese products as well, including high-end skin care creams and various household items.
“The effort is shaping up to be the largest campaign of state-supported nationalist outrage against Japan in more than a decade and comes at a time of widening divisions between China and U.S.-aligned countries in the region,” one media outlet reported about the matter.
(Related: The IAEA claims that it is perfectly safe for Fukushima to dump radioactive waste into the Pacific Ocean.)
Will China eventually ban other Japanese imports?
After “lists of products to be boycotted” started circulating online throughout China, many consumers started returning Japanese products that they had already purchased in retaliation.
Many Japanese manufacturers are now labeling their products as “radiation-free” to try to lure back Chinese consumers, some of whom have purchased handheld Geiger counters to test their Japanese-made products for radioactivity.
In response, Japanese analysts are accusing China of “scapegoating” Japan in an attempt to distract from its own nation’s many problems.
Not long after China gave the axe to all further imports of Japanese seafood, many Japanese businesses and government departments started receiving concerned and angry calls from Chinese consumers, including on the short-video platforms Kuaishou and Douyin.
Many users of these two platforms began uploading video footage of themselves calling Japan and expressing their concerns about nuclear-contaminated wastewater affecting Japanese-made products.
Following a two-year review, the IAEA concluded just last month that Japan’s plan to dump tens of thousands of tons’ worth of radioactive water straight into the Pacific Ocean is just swell, easily meeting international safety standards.
According to the IAEA, radioactive wastewater in the Pacific Ocean will have a “negligible” radiological impact on both people and the environment – case closed.
China does not agree with the IAEA’s assessment, though, with state-run media outlets throughout the country bashing Japan over the move. Environmental groups and residents in nearby South Korea, as well as some residents of Japan itself, further say that what Japan is now doing creates and “unnecessary risk.”
Obviously, China is trying to inflict serious economic damage on Japan, which says its nation’s businesses are already taking a “significant” hit, with more on the way.
Together with Hong Kong, China imports more than $1.1 billion worth of seafood from Japan every year – or at least it did before this recent decision was made. Nearly half of Japan’s seafood exports end up in China – or, again, they did before the change.
“While Japan’s government is deeply concerned by what it sees as the aggressive actions of the Chinese Communist Party, they understand that it is in their interests to maintain stable relations with their larger neighbor,” commented James DJ Brown from Temple University in Philadelphia.
“China’s growing economic difficulties could mean that any ban is relatively brief and narrow, so as to limit the negative impact on Chinese importers and business sentiment.”
The latest news about Fukushima’s ongoing destruction of the Pacific Ocean can be found at FukushimaWatch.com.
Sources for this article include: