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Japan says it may take China to WTO over Fukushima-driven seafood import ban


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Japan says it may take China to WTO over Fukushima-driven seafood import ban

Japan tried to do that with South Korea and loss, now Japan want to force China to eat Fukushima products?


-19 ( +8 / -27 )

This really does seem to be politics. I cannot see any real benefit to China by taking this line. It will become a matter of the whole world wasting time working out how to save China’s face.

16 ( +20 / -4 )

A complete waste of tax payers money.

How about the Japanese government slap higher tariffs on the mountains of cheap Chinese plastic goods sold in Japan everyday?

Or how about Japan finding new markets for their ‘safe’ fish?

Or how about banning Chinese eel that is sold for less than half the price of Japanese sourced eel?

Would that not be a solution or are the import duties too much of a carrot for the Japanese government?

The WTO isn’t going to help Japan when any country is well within its rights to cease imports of potentially radioactive foodstuffs

-4 ( +14 / -18 )

Since when China listens to WTA or any other international body????

10 ( +15 / -5 )

The World Trade Organization still exists? I thought it went out of existence when the US stopped complying with WTO rulings.

 The United States did not fully comply with a World Trade Organization ruling and could face Chinese sanctions if it does not remove certain tariffs that break WTO rules, the WTO’s appeals judges said in a ruling on Tuesday.


-3 ( +6 / -9 )

Well, that’s a waste of time. China doesn’t listen to anyone other than the big chief himself.

9 ( +13 / -4 )

It’s all a bunch of BS. If the Chinese are so afraid and worried about eating Japan’s food, then why are so many Chinese still visiting Japan?

12 ( +17 / -5 )

China is pretty smart. May not like them, but I admire their creativity. Tourism and exports are where Japan gets its profits. Put pressure there and they will fold.

If China imposes a travel ban to Japan, then business will really suffer.

Of course, it is truly hypocritical of China to do what they are doing after the Coronavirus escaped their labs. We could easily say that. However, one thing is an event that was NOT intentional ( Corona ), vs polluting the ocean with radioactive waste water which is clearly intentional in order to save money.

China is right this time. Japan is wrong.

-17 ( +3 / -20 )

Wasting more money. Instead of WHO How about use that money to support the fishermen who are dealing with the impact or telco management and unsafe building practices and total failure of the response.

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

small Japan in trouble without Chinese money LOL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

-19 ( +4 / -23 )

Hit back Japan, Hit China hard. China will not listen to WTO.

-2 ( +5 / -7 )

Japan threatened on Tuesday to take China to the World Trade Organization (WTO) 

And I am sure that is keeping China awake at night.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Japan threatened on Tuesday to take China to the World Trade Organization (WTO) to seek a reversal of Beijing's ban on all of its seafood imports

This may work because China has a very weak legal system unable to defend itself in proper court proceedings, unlike Korea which has a world class legal system with world class lawyers. Japan has never won a WTO arbitration against Korea(7:0) including the last Fukushima food import ban case which Korea won and was able to keep its ban, but China is entirely another story.  


Japan tried to do that with South Korea and loss, now Japan want to force China to eat Fukushima products?

The problem is that Korea has a world class legal system producing exceptional lawyers and Japan never won a WTO case against Korea(7:0), China not so much and is a fair game for Japan.


Since when China listens to WTA or any other international body????

If WTO rules against China and China doesn't comply with WTO ruling, then WTO awards retaliatory tariffs against Chinese imports to be levied by Japan.

@Roy Sophveason

That is incorrect. Korea was found to be inconsistent with WTO agreements in 8 out of 10 points{1}.

Actually you are incorrect as the WTO appeals body overturned the initial ruling and Korea was allowed to keep existing bans as is, that is all food import ban from existing 12 prefectures unaltered.

-12 ( +4 / -16 )

The idea of releasing radioactive waste into the ocean is disgusting. On the other hand, the radiation level of the water being put into the ocean is so low, that if they were not told about it, no one would be able to say that the water was being put into the ocean.

Meanwhile, China is building new coal-fired power plants every week. Which is more harmful to the ecosphere? China's emissions, or Japan's?

2 ( +6 / -4 )

They should and they should get WTO to setup allowed levels of low-level tritium nuclear waste water releases to be allowed to sell any seafood from the country. That would completely screw China, since they release 100x more tritium annually than Japan plans to release over 40 yrs.

Plus, China would need to honestly report their releases, which doesn't happen today. China has allowed French nuclear watchers in on a few occasions, but it was like when the WHO visited China for COVID - they weren't allowed anywhere China didn't want them to visit and even on facilities they were supposed to have unrestricted access, they were restricted. After the French left, they spelled out hundreds of issues with each nuclear plants in China they'd visited.

OTOH, Japan got international experts to help with the plan. Eventually, cleaning the water as much as possible and performing a very slow release, far below allowed international standards was deemed to be the best option. Eventually, the water is going to be released. Containers don't last forever. Better to control the release than have another accident.

If China doesn't honor WTO rulings, they need to lose their "developing nation" supports ... which no country with nuclear weapons should ever get.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Even if the WTO somehow was able to get China to reverse the ban….

1.      Would the Chinese citizens want to eat fish from Japan?

2.     Would importers want to invest in importing fish that isn’t popular and goes bad pretty quickly?

Either way, I don’t think lifting the ban would help the Japanese fish industry all that much… if the consumer doesn’t want it, it won’t be consumed regardless…

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

National Security means different things to different countries, its not just your version. America, being itself, can afford to play this game, Japan??? What do you have for leverage to play this game?? Not everyone is stupid, you know???

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

I doubt they would win.

For a start they do not have conclusive evidence that radioactive tritium water won't over time build up as organically bound due to the fact that it has never been tested for the time span of the release they are going to have trouble proving it beyond a reasonable doubt. Even if it will probably be OK.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

The United States, as well as the pro-Western media, back Tokyo’s decision and insist that the discharge is safe, including through a deliberately misleading narrative that China (and South Korea) dump more “nuclear water” of their own into the ocean than Japan does, completely ignoring the facts that:

1) there has been no nuclear disaster in China

2) the isotopes involved are different.

Despite this, the campaign to downplay China’s concerns as hypocritical and politically motivated has been coordinated.

How, for one, do you think the media would have reacted if China were responsible for such a disaster? The response to Covid-19 is a helpful template, with Beijing still being accused of a “cover up” and a “lack of transparency” over the origins of the pandemic and demands being bandied around that China “must pay” for its impact on the rest of the world.

We can only imagine the concerted political outrage that would follow if Beijing were the one releasing potentially dangerous nuclear wastewater into the ocean.

These contrasting reactions show us how, in political terms, Japan enjoys great privileges that China does not. Also, a reminder of how “outrage” is manufactured, selective, and politically motivated.

What China can do may be in any case branded a threat and crime against the entire world, but Japan? Nothing to worry about.

-6 ( +4 / -10 )

13 nuclear power plants in China each released more radioactive tritium into the ocean in 2021 than the planned amount to be released from Japan's Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in one year. China will not release the stats for their waste water dumping, they deliberately blocked the data release so the world could not see what they are doing. Fukushima is but a miniscule amount to what they are doing, and continue to do.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Tritium has been released into the oceans for more than half a century as part of the regular operation of nuclear power plants. And in the 1960s, following the atomic tests, tritium concentration in the ocean was more than a hundred times higher than it is now.

Yes I agree. But unfortunately not on a practically daily basis for maybe 30 years or more in one single location has it?

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

Russia is the country that has dumped the most highly radioactive waste into the oceans.

Then there is

"Lake Karachay, sometimes spelled Karachai or Karachaj, was a small lake in the southern Ural mountains in central Russia. Starting in 1951, the Soviet Union used Karachay as a dumping site for radioactive waste from Mayak, the nearby nuclear waste storage and reprocessing facility, located near the town of Ozyorsk"

Russia’s ‘slow-motion Chernobyl’ at sea

Beneath some of the world’s busiest fisheries, radioactive submarines from the Soviet era lie disintegrating on the seafloor. Decades later, Russia is preparing to retrieve them.


0 ( +2 / -2 )

Japan should stop investing in China and pull out all its factories and go to India, Taiwan and even Mexico, and of course Japan itself too. China is a gangster country.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

On and on about tritium, is that what's China is protesting about the wastewater dumping?

There are a lot more elements far more dangerous than tritium in wastewater.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )


-4 ( +0 / -4 )

There is a fundamental difference between the nuclear-contaminated water that came into direct contact with the melted reactor cores in the Fukushima nuclear disaster and the water released by nuclear power plants in normal operation.

Anything to the contrary is just plain mendacious and shameless. It's not just Tritium, but carbon-14, strontium-90 and iodine-129.

The apologists are pretending this issue doesn't exist (or even worse, have faithfully swallowed the narrative and aren't even aware).

Equally bizarre is the faith placed in TEPCO and Tokyo to be honest.

-7 ( +0 / -7 )

Legionella in water is a killer. Many waterborne diseases.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Can't we just be friends, stop eating Japanese seafood of course, but just be friends.

-6 ( +0 / -6 )

The fact that we cannot observe any long-term consequences or buildups looking back at the last 70 years is as normative as it gets.

What is that?

It’s hard to discern any meaning from that paragraph

So, the rising cases of cancer in Japan are due to?

Surely not the consequences of radioactive releases, right?

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

W.T.O. is dead, murdered by Donald Trump. Even Japan brought the dispute to International Court of Justice (ICJ). China just don't gives it any respect as well !

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

The water at the Fukushima plant was used to cool molten nuclear fuel resulting from a major accident.

Moreover the plant also used MOX fuel.

Comparing that to water discharges during normal operation elsewhere is completely dishonest.

Much is being swept under the carpet here but let's pretend it isn't.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

What's curious to me is that a lot of countries with import bans lifted the bans just before the planned release.

So the imports are safe all along?

They just banned it like China is doing now for some other reasons?

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Anyway, if it really is just about the tritium then Japan would have released the wastewater a long long time ago.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

Yep keep banging about it =)

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Are Koreans lying again? Even at the WTO, South Korea stormed the hotel of the councilor and did not return until South Korea was satisfied. Bribes and bribery are common.

This is why the WTO mistakenly issues decisions that are not based on the law but on the national sentiments of Koreans. As a result, the United States became furious and stopped sending people to the WTO, and the WTO became dysfunctional.

[Extension of anti-dumping duties on stainless steel bars made in Japan]

The WTO accepted Japan's argument and found that South Korea's anti-dumping tax extension measures were inconsistent with the Anti-Dumping Agreement, as there were problems with the recognition that there was a possibility of damage reoccurring due to the elimination of anti-dumping duties and the transparency of the procedures. We determined that this was not the case and recommended that South Korea correct its measures.

[South Korea's anti-dumping measures against Japanese-made pneumatic transmission valves] South Korea also abolished dumping measures in this regard.

In South Korea, domestic law takes precedence over international treaties, and national sentiment takes precedence over domestic law. It is a legal system that would not be possible in a developed country that is a proper civilization, and it is very similar to the civilian government of China.

They tend to force others to obey the law instead of obeying the law themselves.

It's the same as China bringing up international law for anything.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I’d like to see China’s numbers for vapor-phase radionuclides. Everyone is looking at water discharges.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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