Hong Kong’s Tightened Monitoring of Japan’s Fish Products Causes Delays

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Fisheries products shipped from Japan are seen at a department store in Hong Kong on Friday.

GUANGZHOU — The Hong Kong government has tightened monitoring for radioactive substances in Japanese fisheries products, causing conspicuous delays in customs clearance in some cases.

The Hong Kong government has already announced its plan to ban imports of fisheries products from Fukushima, Miyagi, Tokyo and seven other prefectures when treated water is released from Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings, Inc.’s Fukushima No 1 nuclear power plant. The measure to tighten inspections came before the planned release.

The measure was implemented in the middle of June. According to Japanese government sources, since then, customs clearance for Japanese fisheries products has been taking about three hours longer than normal.

There are restaurants in Hong Kong that are popular for serving fish shipped from Japan in the morning and eaten at night the same day. Such restaurants are now unable to offer Japanese fisheries products on the same day of shipment, so some eateries are switching to products from other origins.

“Since the issue of treated water began to be discussed in June, sales at Japanese restaurants have decreased by 30%,” said an official of the Hong Kong Federation of Restaurants and Related Trades.

Consul General Kenichi Okada at the Japanese Consulate General in Hong Kong met with John Lee, Hong Kong’s chief executive, on Friday and explained anew about the safety of food products from Japan.