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Mounting public concerns on Japanese seafoods

Posted April. 15, 2021 07:35,   

Updated April. 15, 2021 07:35


Public concerns are mounting on Japanese seafoods amidst Japan’s decision to discharge contaminated water from the first nuclear plant at Fukushima as early as 2023. Japanese seafoods currently imported to Korea are caught at locations far away from Fukushima. Imports of seafoods produced from Fukushima and other adjacent prefectures have been suspended since 2013. Also, they are required to go through radioactive examination by the Korean government. So far, there has been no cases of radioactive material found in Japanese sea products, which is why experts say that there is a low chance of radioactive sea products entering and distributed in Korea.

However, many point out that fish living in Japan’s contaminated waters could be caught in Korean sea territories, though Vice Minister Park Jun-young of the Oceans and Fisheries pointed out that this would be very unlikely. He explained that the same species had different travel routes. For examples, Korean mackerel, spawns in the East China Sea and travels between the West and East Seas of Korea, but mackerel caught in Japan migrate between Japanese archipelago and the Pacific ocean.

The Korean government decided to place more stronger actions in place to prevent potential cases of disguising Japanese sea products of Korean origin by enforcing stricter regulations on place of origin labelling. Korea is also considering to prohibit imports of Japanese sea products if Japan decides to discharge radioactive water.

Ho-Kyeong Kim kimhk@donga.com