Japan to Support Scallop Shelling Operations in Vietnam, Exportation to U.S. After China’s Seafood Import Ban

Yomiuri Shimbun file photo
Workers process scallops in Aomori Prefecture in September.

The government announced Friday that it will support scallop shelling operations in countries other than China. The aim is to increase exports of Japanese scallops to the United States, as exports have been affected by China’s ban on seafood imports from Japan.

Japanese scallops had largely been shelled in China, but the government will seek businesses that want to conduct operations in Vietnam and establish a new export route.

In the next few weeks, the Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Ministry will start to seek businesses that want to take on-site tours or have business negotiations in Vietnam. So far, the government has inspected processing facilities in the country that meet sanitary and other standards for export to the United States.

According to the ministry, out of the 143,000 tons of scallops exported to China in 2022, 96,000 tons were frozen, unshelled scallops. These scallops were shelled and consumed in China, although about 30,000 to 40,000 tons of them are estimated to have been exported to the United States. Japanese exporters need to find shelling facilities at home and abroad that can replace those in China.

Fisheries Minister Ichiro Miyashita met with U.S. Ambassador to Japan Rahm Emanuel on Friday. They confirmed that the two countries will deepen bilateral cooperation in the fields of agriculture, forestry and fishery.