The fisheries ministry said Friday it has issued a warning to two Japanese companies in Kyushu that failed to correctly label North Korean clams.

North Korean “asari” clams have allegedly been disguised as Japanese for sale in Japan. North Korean clams are known to account for 40 percent of the total amount consumed in Japan.

A group comprising families of North Korean abduction victims is calling on Japanese to stop purchasing goods from North Korea.

It is the first case of mislabelling discovered by the Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Ministry since beginning its investigation in mid-January.

The ministry said the clams were imported by Fukuokaken Uoichiba Co., a major importer of North Korean clams based in Fukuoka city, which sold them to five wholesalers with North Korean provincial names given as the origin. The Japanese Agricultural Standards Law requires importers to indicate the country of origin of the products.

One of the wholesalers falsely labeled the clams as Chinese before selling them to Ancle Fujiya, based in the city of Saga, which sold them to supermarkets in Fukuoka Prefecture as having been grown in Kumamoto Prefecture, the ministry said.

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