Japan asks WTO to intervene on S. Korean atomic fish ban

Global Post
8 October, 2013

Japan has asked the World Trade Organisation to step into a row over Seoul’s import ban on fish caught in waters near the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant, officials said Tuesday.

Tokyo wants the WTO’s Sanitary and Phytosanitary Committee, which deals with food safety, to discuss South Korean rules restricting the import of marine produce from a large area of northern Japan, a fisheries agency official told AFP.

South Korea last month expanded a ban on Japanese fisheries products over fears of contamination from broken reactors at Fukushima, after the plant operator admitted highly toxic water may have made its way into the Pacific Ocean.

The ban takes in products from Fukushima and the seven other prefectures — Ibaraki, Gunma, Miyagi, Iwate, Tochigi, Chiba and Aomori — making up the northern half of the main island of Honshu. Gunma and Tochigi are landlocked.

“We will explain in the committee that Japanese aquatic products are under strict safety controls based on international standards, and that the South Korean ban lacks a scientific basis,” the official said.

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