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EU-Japan EPA: Lift Fukushima food restrictions?

July 7, 2017



EU hopeful of EPA, may ease Fukushima restrictions



The European Union has expressed hope for an Economic Partnership Agreement with Japan. The bloc may also ease restrictions on food imports from the country's northeastern prefecture of Fukushima.

In a meeting in Brussels on Thursday, European Council President Donald Tusk and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe confirmed a broad deal on the bilateral EPA.

The European Commission later released a statement, saying the EPA will be the most important bilateral trade agreement ever concluded by the EU.

The statement says the EPA could increase the value of exports from the EU by as much as 20 billion euros, or about 22.8 billion dollars, meaning more possibilities and jobs in many EU sectors.

The statement says tariffs on wine imports from the EU will disappear from day one of entry into force and that wine producers will be able to save 134 million euros, or roughly 152 million dollars, a year.

The statement says the EPA will remove the vast majority of duties paid by EU companies, which sum up to one billion euros, or around 1.14 billion dollars, annually.

At a news conference on Thursday, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker referred to the EU's restrictions on rice and other food imports from Fukushima.

Juncker said he is confident and will work for the EU to further lift the import measures after the summer break.

The restrictions followed the 2011 nuclear accident at the Fukushima Daiichi power plant in the prefecture. They require Japan to show that food products from Fukushima have cleared safety checks.

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