Switzerland, Liechtenstein Lift Restrictions on Japan Food Imports

Japan News file photo
Visitors receive samples at an event promoting fish from Fukushima Prefecture in Tsukiji, Tokyo, on April 8.

Switzerland and Liechtenstein have lifted import restrictions on Japanese food products that had been in place since the accident at Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings, Inc.’s Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant, the Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Ministry has announced.

The tests for radioactive materials that had been required for designated foods from 10 prefectures, including marine products from Fukushima Prefecture, are no longer necessary in Switzerland and Liechtenstein. The ministry plans to strengthen support for exports to Europe.

The European Union, Norway and Iceland also removed their restrictions on Aug. 3, leaving seven countries and regions that continue to have restrictions in place, including China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, South Korea and Russia.

According to the ministry, exports of Japanese food products to Switzerland in 2022 totaled ¥1.92 billion, mostly fish oil, seaweed and soy sauce. There was no record of exports to Liechtenstein.

In response to the removal of restrictions, the ministry plans to establish a new sales promotion office for Japanese food products in Brussels, where major EU institutions are located, to hold PR events and gather information on the EU market.

China opposed to the release of treated water from the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant is stepping up inspections of radioactive materials in marine products imported from Japan.

“The safety of Japanese food products has been scientifically proven,” agriculture minister Tetsuro Nomura said at a press conference on Tuesday. Nomura said he will strongly urge the early removal of the restrictions still in place.