List of food import bans expands for radiation-hit Japan
Mar 25, 2011, 12:17 GMT
Beijing - China, South Korea and Taiwan on Friday joined other governments in suspending food and agricultural imports from Japanese prefectures affected by radiation from an earthquake- and tsunami-damaged nuclear power plant.
China's temporary ban applies to dairy products, fruit, vegetables, other agricultural products and aquatic products from Fukushima, Ibaraki, Tochigi, Gunma and Chiba prefectures, the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine said.
South Korea's ban took effect immediately and would remain until there no longer are concerns about radioactive contamination, the prime minister's office said.
Its ban applies to milk, spinach, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage and turnips from Fukushima, Ibaraki, Tochigi und Gunma prefectures.
Taiwan's import suspension applies to all food, including dairy products, fruits and vegetables, from Fukushima, Ibaraki, Tochigi, Gunma and Chiba, Health Minister Chiu Wen-ta said.
The three governments joined the United States, Singapore, Australia and Hong Kong in suspending imports from Japan.
Japan first announced at the weekend that radiation had contaminated milk and vegetables near the nuclear plant in Fukushima, 250 kilometres north-east of Tokyo. It has since halted exports of these products.
In China, the government had ordered quarantine inspectors at ports to monitor radiation levels in all shipments from Japan from March 16, and South Korea also began last week to monitor fresh produce for Japan for heightened radioactivity.
So far, Taiwan has only detected radiation on fava beans imported from Japan, but the contamination was within Taiwan limits.
Seoul said its list of banned products could become longer if higher radiation levels are detected in other Japanese produce.
The nuclear plant in Fukushima, 250 kilometres north-east of Tokyo, has released radioactive materials and has been hit by explosions and fires since the quake and tsunami, which caused the cooling systems its six reactors to fail.
In a separate notice on Friday, China's quality watchdog said two Japanese air passengers were found with radiation levels 'seriously exceeding limits' as they arrived in the south-eastern city of Wuxi Wednesday.
It also said a cargo ship from Japan showed 'abnormal' radiation levels in the south-eastern port of Xiamen Tuesday.
The notice did not specify the levels of radiation found, but it said the two air passengers were not considered a risk to other people.
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