Hong Kong News

Nonpartisan, Noncommercial, unconstrained.
Thursday, Feb 29, 2024

Japan asks Hong Kong: weigh data before curbing seafood over nuclear waste plan

Japan asks Hong Kong: weigh data before curbing seafood over nuclear waste plan

Country’s consulate in city says ‘no negative impact on food safety’ expected after Japan discharges waste water from Fukushima Daiichi power plant into sea.

Japanese officials have urged the Hong Kong government to consider scientific evidence before deciding whether to tighten curbs on importing seafood from the country if it opts to discharge treated radioactive water into the sea.

The country’s consulate in Hong Kong and visiting officials on Friday sought to allay concerns over plans to dispose of water used to cool melted nuclear fuel at Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi power plant.

The city was Japan’s second-largest market of agricultural and fisheries exports in 2022, bringing in around HK$12.3 billion (US$1.6 billion) worth of products, according to the country’s Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF).

Kenichi Okada, Japan’s consul general in Hong Kong, said the country’s food regulatory standards were stricter than many places, adding that most locations had already lifted bans on Japanese food exports imposed after the 2011 nuclear disaster.

Okada Kenichi, Japan’s consul general in Hong Kong.

“Japan stands to make sure that its food safety is perfect … There should be no negative impact on the food safety of agricultural products and fisheries products after the discharge of [Advanced Liquid Processing System]-treated water,” he said, referring to a purification system that filters waste water generated from cooling the plant.

Hong Kong has continued to ban the import of vegetables and dairy products from the Fukushima prefecture despite lifting some restrictions in 2018, while Taiwan lifted all such curbs in February 2022.

Gaku Sato, a manager from the Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings, who worked on the plant’s decommissioning, said the waste water would be purified multiple times to ensure Caesium and other radionuclides were below releasable limits.

The waste water would also be diluted before it was discharged into the Pacific Ocean, since the radioactive isotope Tritium could not be filtered out, she explained.

But Sato argued many nuclear facilities around the world had already released higher levels of Tritium when discharging waste water when compared with Japan’s own plan, including Yangjiang power station in China’s Guangdong province.

The process would start after a review by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) was published, which was expected to be “released shortly”.

Earlier this month, China’s Foreign Ministry urged Japan not to begin discharging waste water without securing an agreement with neighbouring countries.

At a Legislative Council panel on Tuesday, Hong Kong’s Environment and Ecology Bureau said the city could impose restrictions on importing aquatic food from Fukushima and nearby prefectures if Japan went ahead with the plan.

Options on the table included an outright ban or requiring a radiation-free certificate for certain aquatic products. The bureau said the decision would depend on the IAEA review, an assessment by mainland authorities and the extent of Japan’s food surveillance regime.

A spokeswoman said the bureau was continuously communicating with the Japanese government, while an interdepartmental task force was considering response measures.

Official figures found that Hong Kong’s imports from Japan accounted for around 2 per cent of the city’s overall food supply in 2022, with aquatic products from the country making up 6.8 per cent of all such imports.

Hideshi Michino, the deputy assistant minister of MAFF’s export bureau, said Japanese authorities had held regular discussions with Hong Kong officials on the subject but refused to say whether both sides had met during their current visit to the city.

The Hong Kong government’s proposal would also require seafood imported from Japan to be labelled with its prefecture of origin, which was not current practice, he said.

“We believe that that kind of requirement would not be based on scientific evidence,” he said.

“If that happens, we are going to tell the Hong Kong government that that kind of labelling is not necessary.”

“Japan has explained repeatedly to the Hong Kong government about the safety of foods based on scientific evidence. We’d like to urge the Hong Kong government to have an understanding of science-based safety.”


Related Articles

Hong Kong News
It's always the people with the dirty hands pointing their fingers
Paper straws found to contain long-lasting and potentially toxic chemicals - study
FTX's Bankman-Fried headed for jail after judge revokes bail
Blackrock gets half a trillion dollar deal to rebuild Ukraine
Steve Jobs' Son Launches Venture Capital Firm With $200 Million For Cancer Treatments
Google reshuffles Assistant unit, lays off some staffers, to 'supercharge' products with A.I.
End of Viagra? FDA approved a gel against erectile dysfunction
UK sanctions Russians judges over dual British national Kara-Murza's trial
US restricts visa-free travel for Hungarian passport holders because of security concerns
America's First New Nuclear Reactor in Nearly Seven Years Begins Operations
Southeast Asia moves closer to economic unity with new regional payments system
Political leader from South Africa, Julius Malema, led violent racist chants at a massive rally on Saturday
Today Hunter Biden’s best friend and business associate, Devon Archer, testified that Joe Biden met in Georgetown with Russian Moscow Mayor's Wife Yelena Baturina who later paid Hunter Biden $3.5 million in so called “consulting fees”
'I am not your servant': IndiGo crew member, passenger get into row over airline meal
Singapore Carries Out First Execution of a Woman in Two Decades Amid Capital Punishment Debate
Spanish Citizenship Granted to Iranian chess player who removed hijab
US Senate Republican Mitch McConnell freezes up, leaves press conference
Speaker McCarthy says the United States House of Representatives is getting ready to impeach Joe Biden.
San Francisco car crash
This camera man is a genius
3D ad in front of Burj Khalifa
Next level gaming
BMW driver…
Google testing journalism AI. We are doing it already 2 years, and without Google biased propoganda and manipulated censorship
Unlike illegal imigrants coming by boats - US Citizens Will Need Visa To Travel To Europe in 2024
Musk announces Twitter name and logo change to X.com
The politician and the journalist lost control and started fighting on live broadcast.
The future of sports
Unveiling the Black Hole: The Mysterious Fate of EU's Aid to Ukraine
Farewell to a Music Titan: Tony Bennett, Renowned Jazz and Pop Vocalist, Passes Away at 96
Alarming Behavior Among Florida's Sharks Raises Concerns Over Possible Cocaine Exposure
Transgender Exclusion in Miss Italy Stirs Controversy Amidst Changing Global Beauty Pageant Landscape
Joe Biden admitted, in his own words, that he delivered what he promised in exchange for the $10 million bribe he received from the Ukraine Oil Company.
TikTok Takes On Spotify And Apple, Launches Own Music Service
Global Trend: Using Anti-Fake News Laws as Censorship Tools - A Deep Dive into Tunisia's Scenario
Arresting Putin During South African Visit Would Equate to War Declaration, Asserts President Ramaphosa
Hacktivist Collective Anonymous Launches 'Project Disclosure' to Unearth Information on UFOs and ETIs
Typo sends millions of US military emails to Russian ally Mali
Server Arrested For Theft After Refusing To Pay A Table's $100 Restaurant Bill When They Dined & Dashed
The Changing Face of Europe: How Mass Migration is Reshaping the Political Landscape
China Urges EU to Clarify Strategic Partnership Amid Trade Tensions
The Last Pour: Anchor Brewing, America's Pioneer Craft Brewer, Closes After 127 Years
Democracy not: EU's Digital Commissioner Considers Shutting Down Social Media Platforms Amid Social Unrest
Sarah Silverman and Renowned Authors Lodge Copyright Infringement Case Against OpenAI and Meta
Why Do Tech Executives Support Kennedy Jr.?
The New York Times Announces Closure of its Sports Section in Favor of The Athletic
BBC Anchor Huw Edwards Hospitalized Amid Child Sex Abuse Allegations, Family Confirms
Florida Attorney General requests Meta CEO's testimony on company's platforms' alleged facilitation of illicit activities
The Distorted Mirror of actual approval ratings: Examining the True Threat to Democracy Beyond the Persona of Putin
40,000 child slaves in Congo are forced to work in cobalt mines so we can drive electric cars.