UK to lift restrictions on food imports from Fukushima | fukushima

Food from Fukushima will be freely available in the UK from Wednesday, weeks after Boris Johnson ate popcorn from the Japanese prefecture hit by a triple nuclear meltdown in March 2011.

Britain restricted imports from Fukushima after the disaster, the world’s worst nuclear accident since Chernobyl, but has gradually lifted them, even as other countries limit or ban products from the region.

Johnson confirmed that the remaining restrictions would end on Wednesday in a meeting the day before with Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida on the sidelines of the G7 summit in Germany.

Johnson told Kishida that relations between the UK and Japan went from “strength to strength”.

“Two great island democracies, united in our values, determined to fight together against autocracies and the dangers of going backwards in the world, but also wanting to do more together in technology, security, trade and, of course, I am delighted that tomorrow, finally, we can have Fukushima-sourced products in every UK store,” he said.

Supermarket chains Tesco and Waitrose have said they have no immediate plans to sell Fukushima products. Instead, many of the items will be available at Japanese restaurants and Japanese specialty stores in England, Scotland and Wales.

The restrictions will remain in Northern Ireland, which is subject to European Union rules on food and drink from Fukushima and other prefectures affected by the accident 11 years ago.

The removal of the restrictions was made possible after the UK Food Standards Agency lowered a limit of 100 becquerels, a measure of radioactivity, per kilogram contained in Japanese food.

“Our risk assessment shows that removing the maximum radiocaesium level of 100 becquerels per kilogram (Bq/kg) for food imported from Japan into the UK would result in a negligible increase in dose and any associated risk to UK consumers. Kingdom,” the FSA said in a report late last year.

The Fukushima prefectural government says that, after the disaster, its food safety standards are among the strictest in the world. The upper limit set by the government for radioactive cesium in common foods, such as meat and vegetables, is 100 becquerels per kilogram, compared to 1,250 Bq/kg in the EU and 1,200 Bq/kg in the US. .

The lifting of the restrictions will affect 23 food products, such as mushrooms, that previously needed to carry proof that they had been tested for radioactive material, according to Nikkei Asia.

The Japanese government said it “welcomes the fact that the UK government has made this decision based on scientific evidence, as it will support the reconstruction of the affected areas.”

It added that it “will continue to work for the early lifting of the remaining import restrictions in the EU and other countries and regions.” China, Russia, South Korea, Indonesia, Taiwan and several other countries still impose import restrictions.

Johnson first got a taste of Fukushima produce in 2017 when, as foreign secretary, he drank a can of peach juice given to him by his Japanese counterpart, Taro Kono, and declared it “Yum.”

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