Macau today (Tuesday) announced a ban on the import of live and fresh food products from 10 prefectures and regions of Japan over concerns about food safety and public health following Tokyo’s announcement of nuclear-contaminated water discharge.
The ban will take effect on Thursday. The SAR government expressed strong dissatisfaction with Japan’s decision, condemning it as being “extremely irresponsible” without ample consultation with its neighboring countries.
The banned import of food include live and fresh food products, food products of animal origin, sea salt and seaweed from Japan’s prefectures of Fukushima, Chiba, Tochigi, Ibaraki, Gunma, Miyagi, Niigata, Nagano and Saitama, as well as Tokyo Metropolis, according to the government.
Since the beginning of this year, Macau has reinforced surveillance of radioactive substances in imported Japanese food on both import and retail levels. Testing for specific radionuclides has been added as a routine food safety test item. Staff have also been sent to ports to carry out inspections with radiation measuring instruments on every box of products in every batch, the SAR government said.
Macau will also reinforce inspections of retail stores in the city, conducting tests with handheld radiation measuring instruments mainly on non-staple food products, such as pre-packaged food products imported from other regions in Japan that are not subject to tests and inspections, it added.
Despite public concerns and raging opposition from both home and abroad, the Japanese government said on Tuesday that it has decided to start releasing nuclear-contaminated wastewater from the crippled Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant into the Pacific Ocean on Thursday.