Govt. Urged To Work Against Japan Seafood Ban

Govt. urged to work against Japan seafood ban

Japan's government plans to continue working to end restrictions on imports of Japanese fishery products, even after last week's ruling by the World Trade Organization in South Korea's favor over its ban on seafood imports from Japan.

But Japan may need to devise ways in negotiating with foreign countries, as both lawmakers and fishermen are urging the government to do more.

South Korea introduced the ban after the 2011 Fukushima nuclear accident, citing concern over radioactive contamination of seafood.

On Wednesday, ruling Liberal Democratic Party lawmakers in charge of foreign and fishery affairs held a meeting.

Some lawmakers called the WTO ruling a diplomatic defeat, saying the government bears a grave responsibility for the dispute. Others expressed concern about a negative impact of the WTO decision.

Some also urged the government to review ways in negotiating with foreign countries, and in devising measures to dispel concerns about the safety of Japanese fishery products.

Also on Wednesday, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga met the head of the national federation of fisheries cooperatives, Hiroshi Kishi.

Suga received from Kishi a written request urging an early removal of restrictions by other countries on Japanese seafood imports.

The request calls for a drastic review of Japan's strategies, and the government's all-out efforts for the resumption of seafood exports.

The federation also demanded the government take relief measures for fishermen, and effective measures against damage caused by rumors about radiation in fishery products from Japan.

Suga later told reporters that he conveyed to Kishi the government's stance of continuing efforts to urge foreign countries to lift their import bans.