Japanese seafood exports to China in Sep fall to near zero amid continued fear of contamination
Published: Oct 28, 2023 06:37 PM


Japanese data released on Friday showed that fishery product exports to the Chinese mainland in September were nearly at zero, after China's General Administration of Customs (GAC) banned Japanese seafood imports in August due to radioactive scare brought by Japan's dumping of nuclear-contaminated water into the ocean.

Amid ongoing concerns over Japan's nuclear-contaminated water dumping, many Japanese cuisine restaurants in China are actively seeking to pivot and consumers continue to choose to avoid such products.

Japan's exports of fishery products to Chinese mainland in September tumbled 99.3 percent from a year earlier, Japan's Jiji Press reported on Friday, citing data from the country's Finance Ministry.

The value of exports of scallops, which had been the main item of Japan's fishery exports to Chinese mainland cities, was zero in September, the report said.

"These days, I definitely pay extra attention to the origin of seafood when making a purchase, and I'm more inclined to choosing domestic products," a Beijing resident surnamed Xu told the Global Times on Saturday.

"Overall, I've reduced the frequency of purchasing seafood - after all, it's food and I have a 5-year-old. It's always better to be more cautious," Xu said.

On Chinese social media platforms, many Japanese restaurant owners have also shared their stories of seeking business transformation. Although they no longer use Japanese ingredients, customers have become more wary of seafood after Japan started to dump its nuclear-contaminated water, according to online posts.

China's General Administration of Customs (GAC) announced on August 24 that China will halt all aquatic product imports from Japan after Japan started the dumping of the Fukushima radioactive water into the ocean.

The move aims to prevent the risk of radioactive contamination caused by the dumping from affecting food safety, to protect the health of Chinese consumers, the GAC stressed.

According to data from China Chamber of Commerce of Import and Export of Foodstuffs, Native Produce and Animal By-products, China imported $29 million worth of aquatic products and derivatives from Japan in August, a 63 percent decrease year-on-year.

GAC data also showed that China's imports of seafood from Japan dropped to zero in September.

Global Times