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Abe to ask Xi to ease China’s import ban on Japanese foods

Kyodo

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is planning to ask Chinese President Xi Jinping to ease Beijing’s ban on importing some Japanese foods that followed the 2011 Fukushima nuclear crisis, a Japanese government source said Saturday.

The two leaders are expected to meet on the sidelines of the Eastern Economic Forum starting next week in the Russian Far East city of Vladivostok.

China has banned importing foods and feedstuff produced in 10 of Japan’s 47 prefectures amid concerns about radiation following the nuclear crisis, which was triggered by the March 2011 Tohoku tsunami and earthquake.

Abe will likely ask Xi to lift the ban on foods that are scientifically confirmed to be safe, the source said. Abe is also expected to express his intention to discuss the issue in a more concrete manner during a possible visit to China next month.

As some other countries have also imposed a similar ban, Tokyo hopes that if China moves to ease the regulation, it could affect others’ decisions, the source said.