Japan-to-China Fish Exports Fall 34%

Yomiuri Shimbun file photo
Fresh marine products are transported to a bonded warehouse at Narita City Public Local Wholesale Market in Chiba Prefecture in February.

BEIJING — Chinese imports of fish from Japan fell 34% month-on-month in July, according to trade statistics from Chinese customs authorities.

The decline represents 234.51 million yuan (about ¥4.7 billion).

The dip is thought to be linked to China’s blanket radiation testing — introduced around July 8-9 — of all seafood imported from Japan.

The latest figure also represents a 28% decrease from July of last year.

Beijing’s inspections take at least two weeks to complete, and the situation has become a de facto import-restriction measure for perishable marine products — an area in which freshness is key.

In early to mid-July, fresh tuna and other products from Japan were discarded after being held for 10 days at customs in Shenzhen in southern China, resulting in Japanese exporters losing more than ¥100 million.

In a trend that is expected to spread in the future, Japanese exporters are halting exports of fresh seafood to China.

However, exports of frozen fishery products that can be stored in freezers are likely to continue as usual, despite the inspections.