Germans trust Japanese food again

Kyodo

Japan has restored consumer trust in its food products through strict radiation inspections introduced after the Fukushima nuclear accident last year and the country’s exports can expand, according to German Agriculture Minister Ilse Aigner.

Germany’s federal minister of food, agriculture and consumer protection said Monday that Japanese food products “have already won back the trust of German consumers.”

“The radiation inspections (in Japan) are strict, and cases of detection are rare,” Aigner said during a visit to an oyster farm in Kesennuma, Miyagi Prefecture.

Exports from Japan will likely increase as the popularity of Japanese food in Germany rises she said.

Aigner, who is scheduled to visit a stock farm and a tea farm in Shizuoka Prefecture on Wednesday, said she will convey her impression of the visits to the German government and the European Union when discussing the safety of food products.

The EU ordered that testing for radioactive materials be carried out on imported Japanese food products in March 2011, but it has eased them starting this month. Some products from Fukushima Prefecture still have restrictions placed on them.

Aigner welcomed the possibility that Japan and the EU will start negotiations on a free-trade agreement.