national

Japan asks WTO to intervene on S Korea fish ban

52 Comments

The requested article has expired, and is no longer available. Any related articles, and user comments are shown below.

© 2013 AFP

©2020 GPlusMedia Inc.

52 Comments
Login to comment

So, instead of getting your finger out and getting that mess cleaned up so no country can ban the produce you are gonna whine and complain to the international community? Weak Abe! Weak!

20 ( +30 / -10 )

Japan should refer its domestic consumers to the WTO as well.

19 ( +24 / -5 )

This could back fire.

12 ( +12 / -0 )

S Korea is doing the right thing.

28 ( +33 / -5 )

No one wants your poison fish Japan. I back Korea on this one.

17 ( +24 / -7 )

I hope the WTO just laughs at them.

Instead of spending time and money complaining that people don't want their contaminated food, maybe they should liquadate TEPCO and get real experts and people who don't make stupid mistakes every 5 days to take care of the situation? Then maybe the problem of contamination wouldn't be made worse and worse as it is now.

17 ( +21 / -4 )

Talk about irony. Japan subsidizes much of it's agriculture to the tune of 300% to 600%, eliminating any chance for others to sell in Japan, while forcing the Japanese consumer to pay much more for food than any other developed country.

No doubt the WTO is rollng on the floor in laughter... But what goes around comes around.

10 ( +15 / -5 )

They don't want your seafood. What's so difficult to understand? Are you planning to force them to buy?

16 ( +20 / -4 )

Yeah, how dare the Koreans refuse to eat the fish, when the Prime Minister Abe himself has given his personal assurance that they are safe? Geez

10 ( +14 / -4 )

selling point? "Rich in Radiation!"

6 ( +8 / -2 )

Korea just needs to ask them to individually test each fish. Good for the goose is good for the gander. Japanese are such whiny cry babies.

12 ( +14 / -2 )

South Korea is the only country that has expanded the scope of its ban on Japanese fisheries products after the toxic water leaks of recent months, according to Japanese officials.

South Korea is also the only neighbouring Asian country not to immediately ban all Japanese seafood in the weeks following the Fukushima disaster in 2011.

In fact SK continued to import thousands of tonnes of seafood until the recent revelations about radioactive water leaking into the ocean became public knowledge.

http://fis.com/fis/worldnews/worldnews.asp?l=e&id=41839&ndb=1

11 ( +14 / -3 )

They should accept a batch test it and report it's findings to the international community. Then, let's see Abe lie his way out of that one!

4 ( +6 / -2 )

SK bans seafood from Northern Japan...what's the problem? At least SK is looking out for its citizens. Can't say much about Japan on the Fukushima fiasco. Lies after lies. The people of japan should also be concerned about what they are consuming too.

16 ( +17 / -1 )

I'm not such a big fan of recent Korean actions, but I can't imagine a successful suit to force Korea to buy something they don't want to buy. That seems absurd.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

I also think this is likely irrational opportunism on the part of S. Korea, but surely it's their right as the customer, to decide whether or not to accept someone else's safety checks. If the population there decides they don't like their own governments bans, they can raise a fuss.

-7 ( +2 / -9 )

the only reason for japan to do this is to show the people in tohoku that they are doing "something" to help them. it's just PR to get them off their backs.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

I also think this is likely irrational opportunism on the part of S. Korea

@taj - I disagree there.. For 2.5 years since the Fukushima diaster SK has been importing thousands of seafood from Japan that other neighbouring Asian countries had long banned.

11 ( +12 / -1 )

Even if the SK government removed the official ban I don't see a lot of importers taking the risk of importing products that they can't sell. A strict labeling policy would have the same effect as a ban.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

Asking the WTO for help is just plain stupid. As many posters said above, if South Korea doesn't want the fish, then let them have their way. To try to force them to take the fish is wrong.

By the way, has anybody here eaten any fish from around Fukushima lately?

8 ( +10 / -2 )

Stop bleating and clean this mess up.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

Ridiculous and childish reaction frim Nagatacho.

I expect nothing less.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

Japan hasn't a prayer to win this case, when many of the important members in the WTO have completely banned all Japanese produce, and not just from the eight districts that Korea banned.

Korea can also show the latest batch of fish from Japan that Japan labeled as safe to consume, which had up to 4.5 times the Japanese safety limit. Those fish were labeled by Japan as from the outside of the banned areas, yet they contained unsafe number of radiation count. This only shows that either Japanese are lying when they say the exported fish are not from the banned areas, or that all of Japan's fish are polluted, and should be immediately banned. Korea can also show the repeated lies that Japanese government who said the nuclear disaster was under control, yet they ask for international help in containing the disaster. Korea can also show the Japanese government admitting in 2013 that Japan dumped hundreds of tons of radioactive water into the Pacific since 2011, when they lied all along that the disaster was under control. Korea can show to the court, all these more, to suggest that whatever Japanese government is safe, cannot be guaranteed as telling the truth, therefore, the Japanese government saying the fish from Fukushima are safe, is also highly suspect.

Japan can only embarrass themselves on this one.

6 ( +9 / -3 )

I can't imagine a successful suit to force Korea to buy something they don't want to buy.

We don't know whether Koreans will buy it. It's a government ban. Japan is not trying to "force" anyone to buy anything.

-8 ( +1 / -9 )

Japan will twist themselves into victims in any situation. This proves it.

3 ( +7 / -4 )

“We will explain in the committee that Japanese aquatic products are under strict safety controls based on international standards, and that the South Korean ban lacks a scientific basis,” the official said.

Well, give me scientific proofs of the "cold shutdown" and the "everything under control" and then I may consider trusting the "strict safety standards".

0 ( +2 / -2 )

How can the WTO force Koreans to eat radioactive fish?

5 ( +7 / -2 )

Well, give me scientific proofs of the "cold shutdown" and the "everything under control" and then I may consider trusting the "strict safety standards".

Not a single shipment to Korea exceeded the 100 bq/kg threshold. In fact, most all are "ND" (less than 10 bq/Kg). The joke here, is of course, is that Korea's own thershold is 370 bq/kg.

While many nations have lifted the bans, Korea is going to the opposite direction without the scientific basis, therefore a request of inquiry by WTO.

http://www.mofa.go.jp/mofaj/saigai/pdfs/yusyutunyuu_soti.pdf

-10 ( +4 / -14 )

Here are some comments from an oceanographic scientist who has been to the areas offshore Fukushima and who is critical of the simplistic " there is nothing to worry about" reassurance from the government. At the same time he admits that the levels are not particularly high. Yet he is worried about cumulative levels. Another scientist talks about the depth at which contaminated water is discharged into the sea, noting that there may be a lower risk to accumulation in the food chain at a lower depth.

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-10-07/tepco-s-claim-radiation-leaks-confined-to-coast-called-silly-.html

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Nigelboy:

Proper contamination check is destructive and takes time. No way that every fish can be guarantee radionuclide free. If japan could restrict beef importation due to potential mad cow infestation, this is exactly the same with radio contamination. Of course mad cow can be conveniently used as epidemiological reason, more than radionuclides.

Bottom line: the risk to get a contaminated fish from Fukushima is clear.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Nigelboy:

You can eat as much as you like, but you can't force others to. I'm all for helping those in need, but not by eating their food. It's been Fukushima cucumbers or no cucumbers in my town. I chose NO cucumbers.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Proper contamination check is destructive and takes time. No way that every fish can be guarantee radionuclide free. If japan could restrict beef importation due to potential mad cow infestation, this is exactly the same with radio contamination. Of course mad cow can be conveniently used as epidemiological reason, more than radionuclides.

"No way that every fish can be guarantee radionuclide free. "

That's not what Japan has guaranteed. If such standards were in place after Chernobyl, the whole European continent would of have been in a standstill for a decade with absolutely no commerce for food.

The Japanese didn't hesitate to boycott Chinese food a few years back.

Pukey. You're talking "boycotts" initiated by civic groups versus government ban.

Let's focus. Read all the comments on this article. Do you think any of those arguments will be used in WTO?

-6 ( +4 / -10 )

Also, the tendency to take matters such as this, one concerned with food safety, to a body such as the WTO, which is concerned with traded "fairness," ignores national sovereignty and the right of people in each country to have their legal and human rights protected by their own countries's policies. And we can only expect more of this use of trade laws ( such as TPP) to combat attempts of countries such as South Korea to protect their own citizens from radiation (other things include allowing countries to label whether food has been genetically modified). TPP, which is based on a previous attempt in 1997 or so, called the MAI, Multilateral Agreement on Investments, goes even further that the WTO to deprive people of the right to enact laws on the basis of things like safety.

So this is an important case that Japan deserves to lose. It is contaminating the ocean and taking action against countries which want no part of it. However, it is a double edged sword in that we are investing a trade body with too much power. The very existence of trade bodies such as the WTO has tended to trivialize and weaken national sovereignty and threaten the food safety of people around the world.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

This is another clear example of Japan's blatant insistence of its right to do whatever it wants to anyone and with/to any country. What it has been doing is downright audacious. A sheer sign of a fast collapsing Japan both economically and socially; a house in total disorder and disarray with continuing streams of lies coming from Abe, Khuroda and his gaggle of geese. Perhaps Abe and his ministers should all start eating the fish Japan wants to sell to South Korea for a couple of months before subjecting themselves to an international panel of doctors ( not including Japanese doctors ) for health checks as certification that the fish is safe to eat before insisting that other countries buy its fish. In fact all countries should be warned by the World Health Organization not to consume anything that comes out of Japan any more. Japan, a country refusing to face reality and facts, is going down the tubes. Have a long ride to insignificance.....

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Japan is not demanding for Korean people to buy the fish they are merely asking to lift the meaningless ban based on emotion. If Koreans don't want to buy so be it but a meaningless ban by a government still creates ripples giving the wrong impression that Japan as a whole is a risk to the unsuspected.

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

South Korea should think themselves lucky.

They are not in the TPP, so at least they will know where their food products are coming from.

TPP products will not be labeled. They will not be labeled if they are Fukushima fish, cows with Mad Cow disease or whether they use Genetically Modified products.

Japan doesn't need to go whining to the WTO because Koreans want uncontaminated fish.

Clean up Fukushima and there will no problem.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

"While many nations have lifted the bans, Korea is going to the opposite direction without the scientific basis, therefore a request of inquiry by WTO"

Why was Japan silent about the bans by China, Taiwan, the US and Australia?

"We don't know whether Koreans will buy it. It's a government ban. Japan is not trying to "force" anyone to buy anything Japan is not demanding for Korean people to buy the fish they are merely asking to lift the meaningless ban based on emotion. If Koreans don't want to buy so be it but a meaningless ban by a government still creates ripples giving the wrong impression that Japan as a whole is a risk to the unsuspected"

Meaningless? -__- Again, why isn't Japan whining about other countries' bans on its food?

"Japan will twist themselves into victims in any situation. This proves it."

"For a second, I couldn't believe that Japan would be so stupid, but then I thought......maybe they just really hate Koreans. It kinda makes sense now"

Yes! People do get it now. Koreans thank you, Japan.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Why was Japan silent about the bans by China, Taiwan, the US and Australia?

Because they did them right after along with Korea which also banned certain products from various pref.

Read the link I posted above. Korea is the only nation that increased bans while the others were lifting them.

-6 ( +3 / -9 )

Not a single shipment to Korea exceeded the 100 bq/kg threshold. In fact, most all are "ND" (less than 10 bq/Kg). The joke here, is of course, is that Korea's own thershold is 370 bq/kg.

Not true. Japanese fish that were not from the quarantined areas, were found to exceed 4.5 times the Japanese limit. Link here.

http://media.daum.net/issue/226/newsview?issueId=226&newsid=20131007145812578

Remember, these were fish from Japan that weren't from the quarantined areas. Imagine what the results would look like if they were.

While many nations have lifted the bans, Korea is going to the opposite direction without the scientific basis, therefore a request of inquiry by WTO.

So how many tons of fish from Fukushima being imported into China? Into the USA? Yeah, thought so. Japan is only bothered by one fact: they are Koreans. That's all this is about.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

Not true. Japanese fish that were not from the quarantined areas, were found to exceed 4.5 times the Japanese limit. Link here.

??? They were detected in Japan. We're talking about shipments to Korea.

Remember, these were fish from Japan that weren't from the quarantined areas. Imagine what the results would look like if they were

Yeah. Like I said. Read my previous comment.

So how many tons of fish from Fukushima being imported into China? Into the USA? Yeah, thought so. Japan is only bothered by one fact: they are Koreans.

Thought so what? There aren't stats to break down how much was shipped from Fukushima Pref. to another country so we don't know. However, China had lifted the ban on fish products on May 27, 2011 upon submission of radation certificates (link in my first post) while U.S. only bans on products which are also banned for commerce in Japan.

Like I said, Korea going in opposite direction.

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

Why was Japan silent about the bans by China, Taiwan, the US and Australia?

"Because they did them right after along with Korea which also banned certain products from various pref. Read the link I posted above. Korea is the only nation that increased bans while the others were lifting them"

So what? The more time passes, the more radiation leaks into the waters of the Pacific. This sounds like a good reason for everybody to INCREASE the ban. Korea's doing the right thing. All you're doing is showing how Japan-apologists are always twisting everything to make Korea look like a villain. Sorry, but Japan hasn't got a friend on this one in the international community.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

So what? The more time passes, the more radiation leaks into the waters of the Pacific.

The more time passes, the radiation dissipates to where the levels decrease, hence the decrease in 500bq/kg to 100 bq/kg and also the number of fish/marine products that are over 100 bq/kg. The level of leaks that the media is reporting amounts to virtually nothing considering the fact that if you were to desalinate the coastal ocean water samples nearby, it's still well below the maximum allowable, hence you could drink it without harm.

-4 ( +5 / -9 )

I think every nation has an obligation to look after their citizens. I say banning fish from the area is a smart move. Good job. Even Japanese citizens shouldn't have to eat fish from the contaminated area.

Abe is crazy to promote food such as rice from fukushima to his citizens and seafood to the world. I know he wants to see the positive numbers indicating economic growth but it should be done sincerely, not by selling produce that could harm the health of others.

Sorry mate it's Japan going in the wrong direction here.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Nigel... as was said to me recently. Don't use science or facts when talking about Fukushima as it's a sure fire way to get record negative votes.

But, as ever, you are spot on.

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

Why was Japan silent about the bans by China, Taiwan, the US and Australia?

@Slowguy2 - It's because Japan can't face up to China, and respects the authority of American, Australian and Taiwanese governments. Japan does not respect the Koreans in the same way.

Because they did them right after along with Korea which also banned certain products from various pref.

@nigelboy - So the Japanese government would have much preferred for Korea to jump on the emotive bandwagon of banning Japanese imports weeks after the Fukushima disaster? Truth is they think the seafood that even the Japanese consumers are reluctant to eat is fit for consumption by Koreans.

Koreans continued to consume Japanese seafood long after other countries stopped importing them (you're welcome). But when the radioactive leaks into the ocean made headlines recently, it sparked public fears in Korea which led to Koreans staying away from seafood altogether, not just the Japanese imports. It was hitting the local fishing industry hard, and decision had to be made. Sorry if the livelihood of Japanese fishermen isn't the top priority of the Korean government.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Reality is that TEPCO and Japan Goverment is in chaos. Completely out of control at Fukushima, melted reactor cores that is contaminating Pacific Ocean with full range of radioactive material affecting the environment and seafood products. If you look at the response by TEPCO and J-goverment, the problem is that in their ideology, it gives the answer before they look at the evidence. So you have to mold the evidence to get the answer that you've already decided you've got to have. J-goverment knows all the answers and that makes evidence irrelevant and arguments a waste of time. You tend to govern by assertion and attacks which Japan has done poorly. This is what South Korea is faced with.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Anybody taking a look at the rows of tanks filled with radioactive poison can only surmise that matters will get worse.

Where are the future millions of tons of radioactive water to be stored? The only option is to release it into the sea as Tepco has been doing! No, Korea is completely justified in having this ban.......

2 ( +4 / -2 )

sfjp330 is correct. One of the reasons that Korea gave out for the ban was that they couldn't get a straight answer from Japan, other then the old "trust us, the fish are safe to eat" sentence repeated over and over again. Trust is one thing, but being stupid to believe what Japan (who has a history of often whitewashing their own problems and wrong doings) says, is another thing altogether.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Japan just keeps breathing life into this black comedy.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

This is only going to make things worse. Say the WTO says Korea has to lift the ban, Korean don't have to buy it and more likely they will feel oppressed and a citizen ban on Japanese products will have a worst effect on Japan than just some fish.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

So the Japanese government would have much preferred for Korea to jump on the emotive bandwagon of banning Japanese imports weeks after the Fukushima disaster? Truth is they think the seafood that even the Japanese consumers are reluctant to eat is fit for consumption by Koreans.

What the Koreans did initially was very similar banning certain products from various prefectures. After, the situation improved, they started to lift the bans on certain products and prefectures much like China and other nations. The false assumption here is that you believe Korea was the most lenient/caring towards Japan from the very beginning..

http://www.maff.go.jp/j/export/e_info/pdf/kisei_all_131004.pdf

Like I said, Korea is the ONLY nation that's going backwards.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

@open minded

No way that every fish can be guarantee radionuclide free.

This is a standard that no fishery or agriculture product anywhere can meet. It's absurd to even to propose it.

@nigel and heda

Good posts. Clearly the topic is too emotional to be discussed rationally.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Login to leave a comment

Facebook users

Use your Facebook account to login or register with JapanToday. By doing so, you will also receive an email inviting you to receive our news alerts.

Facebook Connect

Login with your JapanToday account

User registration

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites