Japan Govt Sets Up Task Force in JETRO to Help Find Seafood Buyers, Soften Blow of China’s Import Ban

Yomiuri Shimbun file photo
Prime Minister Fumio Kishida inspects seafood at the Toyosu Market in Koto Ward, Tokyo, in August.

The government has set up an emergency task force at the Japan External Trade Organization to help the fishing industry find new sales channels, it has been learned.

The government plans to diversify the customer base to counter China’s import ban on Japanese seafood over the ocean release of treated water from the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant.

The task force, established on Thursday, has set up a cross-organizational system to hold at an early date business matching sessions for introducing clients to seafood businesses, as well as food fairs and tastings. Industry businesses will also get support to boost their online sales.

The government has decided to allocate ¥100.7 billion to help the fishing industry shift export destinations, keep fishing and open new sales channels.

JETRO will mainly encourage businesses to add sales channels in the United States, Europe and Southeast Asia. China and Hong Kong have been the destination for about 40% of Japan’s seafood products on a value basis, and there is an urgent need for new buyers.