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ECONOMY > Agriculture

China urged to ease curbs on Japanese farm, food products

  • September 12, 2019
  • , Jiji Press , 09:14 p.m.
  • English Press

Beijing, Sept. 12 (Jiji Press)–Japanese business leaders reiterated their demand on Thursday that China remove or ease restrictions on imports of Japanese agricultural and food products.

“The element of eating is an important key to energize exchanges between people and communities,” Sendai Chamber of Commerce and Industry Chairman Hiroshi Kamata said in a meeting with officials from China’s National Development and Reform Commission in Beijing.

The import curbs were imposed after the March 2011 triple meltdown at Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc.’s <9501> tsunami-hit Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant in northeastern Japan.

A total of 54 countries and regions imposed import curbs on Japanese products following the nuclear accident.

While over 30 nations and areas have scrapped such measures, those mainly in East Asia, with a large volume of trade in agricultural and food products, have kept strict regulations in place, undermining reconstruction efforts in disaster-affected areas in Japan.

Kamata, who also serves as 77 Bank <8341> consultant, cited measures introduced in Japan to ease concerns about radioactive contamination, including the introduction in Ishinomaki in Miyagi Prefecture of state-of-the-art seafood inspection equipment to check for radioactive substances.

He is part of a delegation of business leaders organized by the Japan-China Economic Association. The delegation also includes Japan Chamber of Commerce and Industry Chairman Akio Mimura, who on Wednesday urged Chinese Premier Li Keqiang to remove or ease the restrictions.

At Wednesday’s meeting, Li said his country would like to resolve the matter based on scientific and safety principles. In an interview on Thursday, Kamata said, “Although it will be difficult to see results immediately, I’d like to make a steady effort, one step at a time.”

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