The Japanese government said Thursday that it will strengthen its quarantine inspection of five fishery products including South Korean halibuts. As four of the five are imports from South Korea, there are controversies that Tokyo is targeting South Korean fishery products.
Japan’s Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare said in a press release on its monitoring plan for food imports that it will double the ratio of its inspection of South Korean halibuts to 40 percent due to heightened concerns over food poisoning in summer.
The ministry also plans to double the inspection ratio of ark shells, pen shells, cockles and sea urchins to 20 percent, adding it will conduct the strengthened inspection for the month of June before deciding whether to continue it.
A ministry official said in a telephone interview with The Dong-A Ilbo that Tokyo will strengthen the quarantine inspection of seafood imports from all countries, rather than targeting those from South Korea. However, Japan imports halibuts, ark shells, pen shells and cockles only from South Korea, while sea urchins are imported from 10 countries including South Korea, the United States and China. Japan’s Jiji Press reported that the move is seen as a countermeasure against Seoul’s ban on fishery product imports from eight Japanese prefectures including Fukushima.
Ae-Jin Ju firstname.lastname@example.org