27 Septembre 2017
EU to lift import curbs on rice from Fukushima, more deals likely
THE ASAHI SHIMBUN
September 27, 2017 at 15:45 JST
The European Commission is set to relax import restrictions on rice from Fukushima Prefecture that were imposed after the 2011 nuclear disaster, sources said.
The import curbs could be eased as early as this year and prompt other countries, including major markets like China, to follow suit, the sources added.
In addition to rice from Fukushima Prefecture, the EU is expected to remove restrictions on some seafood products from Iwate, Miyagi and other prefectures.
All restrictions on products from Akita Prefecture will likely also be lifted, thereby abolishing all curbs on rice grown in Japan.
The United States on Sept. 22 decided to allow imports of milk and dairy products from Fukushima, Iwate, Miyagi, Tochigi and Gunma prefectures without inspection certificates stating they are free of radioactive materials.
The EU move follows a general agreement on an economic partnership in July, during which EU officials informed Japan of plans to relax import restrictions on agricultural products. The two sides have been discussing the issue since then.
(This article was written by Naoki Tsuzaka in Brussels and Tetsushi Yamamura in Tokyo.)