Japan's PM vows to help fisheries counter China's seafood ban.


Japanese PM Kishida plans measures to aid the fishing industry impacted by China's seafood ban. Funds will come from reserves. Japan will diversify exports and push to lift the ban.

On Thursday, after visiting Tokyo's largest fish market, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida stated that measures would be taken to assist the fishing industry affected by China's ban on Japanese seafood. The government plans to allocate tens of billions of yen from this fiscal year's budget reserves to support the affected fishing industry.

Kishida emphasized the importance of integrating different opinions from the fishing community, including supporting fishing companies in exploring new sales channels and discussing with China the lifting of the seafood ban.

Japan began discharging treated nuclear wastewater into the ocean last Thursday, causing profound concerns among countries including China and South Korea.

In 2022, over 700 Japanese companies exported approximately $600 million worth of seafood to China, making it Japan's largest market for seafood exports, followed by Hong Kong. The ban imposed by China on Japanese seafood after Japan decided to release nuclear wastewater into the ocean has severely impacted Japan's fishing industry.

Despite previous denials by government officials of rumors about taking extra financial measures for the fishing industry, the Japanese government has established two funds totaling 80 billion yen (about $548 million) aimed at supporting the development of new sales channels and freezing surplus fish for sale once demand recovers.

Considering the products with a high dependency on the Chinese market, the government plans to take measures to diversify the export of fish. Meanwhile, some Japanese officials are considering diplomatic actions, including filing a complaint with the World Trade Organization (WTO) to urge China to lift the ban, as Japan argues that the ban is not scientifically based.

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