Hong Kong to Ban Import of Aquatic Products from Japanese Counties if Nuclear Contaminated Water is Discharged
China News Agency, Hong Kong – The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government has announced that it will impose a ban on the import of aquatic products from 10 Japanese counties (capitals) if Japan proceeds with the discharge of nuclear contaminated water. Xie Zhanhuan, Secretary of the Environment and Ecology Bureau, made the statement during a meeting with the media in the Legislative Council on July 12.
In a meeting with Japanese officials, including Consul General Kenichi Okada, Chief Secretary for Administration Chen Guoji and Director of the Environment and Ecology Bureau Xie Zhanhuan reiterated the concerns of the Hong Kong government. They urged Japan not to unilaterally discharge the polluted water from the Fukushima nuclear power plant into the ocean before the international community reaches a consensus. The officials emphasized the potential irreversible impact such actions could have on the environment.
Xie Zhanhuan, in line with the precautionary principle, revealed that the SAR government is planning to ban the import of aquatic products from Tokyo, Fukushima, Chiba, Tochigi, Ibaraki, Gunma, Miyagi, Niigata, Nagano, and Saitama if Japan proceeds with the discharge of nuclear-contaminated water. This includes live, frozen, refrigerated, dried, or other preserved aquatic products, sea salt, and unprocessed or processed seaweed.
Since the Fukushima nuclear accident in 2011, Hong Kong has already implemented import control measures on certain food products from Fukushima, Chiba, Tochigi, Ibaraki, and Gunma prefectures. Xie Zhanhuan confirmed that these measures would remain in place. Prohibition on the import of vegetables, fruits, milk, milk drinks, and milk powder from Fukushima Prefecture will continue. Additionally, foods originating from the four prefectures near Fukushima, including Ibaraki, Tochigi, Chiba, and Gunma, must be accompanied by a radiation certificate and a certificate from the exporter before they can be imported.
Xie Zhanhuan further stated that frozen or refrigerated game, meat, poultry, and poultry eggs from the five affected prefectures must be accompanied by a radiation certificate. This certificate must prove that the radiation levels in the food do not exceed the guideline limit set by the Codex Committee. Failure to meet these requirements will result in the prohibition of import into Hong Kong.
Highlighting Hong Kong’s autonomy and its separate customs territory, Xie Zhanhuan emphasized that the SAR government is responsible for maintaining its own food safety control system to protect public health. He assured that the government will continue to closely monitor the situation and risks associated with imported food from Japan and the discharge of nuclear-contaminated water from the Fukushima nuclear power plant.
In light of the potential environmental and health risks, Hong Kong’s stance on preventing the import of nuclear-contaminated aquatic products reflects its commitment to safeguarding its citizens’ well-being. The government remains in close communication with Japan and will assess any developments related to food safety and the discharge of the contaminated water.
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