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Japan explains itself at WTO

October 5, 2013



Japan to explain contaminated water issue at WTO



Japanese government officials plan to take up the issue of leaks of contaminated water at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant at the World Trade Organization. They want to address the concern of South Korea over radioactive contamination of seawater around the plant.

The South Korean government last month banned imports of marine products from 8 eastern Japanese prefectures, including Fukushima, citing consumer concern about radioactive contamination.

The Japanese government has called for lifting the blanket embargo swiftly. But earlier this week, South Korea's fisheries minister called Japan "immoral" because it allowed radioactive wastewater to leak into the sea from the crippled nuclear plant without prior notification.

This week, fish samples showing radioactive contamination exceeding the government standard were confirmed by the Japanese government in some waters off the coast of Fukushima and Ibaraki prefectures.

The officials want to convey Japan's position on the issue at a WTO panel meeting, scheduled to be held later this month.

Japan's delegates are expected to explain that Japanese marine products are approved for shipping after inspection based on strict standards.

The officials will also seek understanding from the international community for Japan's assertion that the South Korean embargo impedes its exports.

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