Fish wholesalers from the United States, Canada and Singapore started a business trip on Monday to four northeastern prefectures as the local fishing industry continues to reel from China's import ban on Japanese marine products.
The tour was organized by the government-linked Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) to help the country's fishery business operators find alternative buyers for their products.
The Chinese government has banned imports of Japanese marine products to protest against the release of treated water into the ocean from the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant in the Tohoku region.
The buyers from six companies, who are interested in scallops, yellowtail and sea urchin, observed an auction at a wholesale market in the city of Aomori on Monday morning.
Later, they inspected bluefin tuna caught off Aomori Prefecture and held a meeting with a local fishery wholesaler.
U.S. fishery wholesaler CEO Yoshihiro Momose said that there was "little impact" from the release of the treated water, but the "Chinese people are reacting to it."
"Customers in the United States want to buy (Japanese fishery products) if it helps," Momose said.
The wholesalers will, from Tuesday, visit fish markets and fishery business operators in the prefectures of Iwate, Miyagi and Fukushima.