S.Korea’s imports of Japanese seafood down over 30% amid Fukushima concerns

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Seoul, June 19 (IANS) South Korean imports of Japanese seafood sank more than 30 per cent last month, amid concerns over Tokyo’s planned release of contaminated water from the crippled Fukushima nuclear power plant, data showed on Monday.

South Korea imported 2,129 tonnes of fishery products from the neighbouring country in May, down 30.6 per cent from a year earlier, according to the data from the Korea Customs Service.

In terms of value, imports inched down 1.8 per cent on-year to $14.06 million, reports Yonhap News Agency.

In April, seafood imports dropped 26 per cent on-year in terms of volume and marked a 9.7 per cent fall in terms of value, according to the data.

The recent fall came as Japan has been preparing to discharge radioactive water from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, which was crippled by a massive 2011 earthquake and tsunami, into the sea as early as this month.

South Korea banned all seafood imports from eight Japanese prefectures near Fukushima in 2013 on concerns over their radiation levels in the wake of the incident.

South Korea made it clear that it will not lift the ban unless seafood from the area is proved to be safe, saying that the Fukushima water release should be considered separately from the import ban.



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