Business

Governor promotes Fukushima food in Hong Kong amid post-disaster import restrictions

JIJI

Fukushima Gov. Masao Uchibori, on a visit to Hong Kong which kicked off Thursday, has worked to promote the safety of food from his prefecture, home to the heavily damaged Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant.

Hong Kong introduced restrictions on food imports from the prefecture after a triple meltdown occurred at Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc.’s Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power station, which was inundated by tsunami following the Great East Japan Earthquake on March 11, 2011.

Uchibori is the first Fukushima governor to visit Hong Kong after the disasters for the promotion of local food products.

During his stay, Uchibori met with officials of an industry association related to Japanese food. He also paid a courtesy call on a senior Hong Kong government official in charge of import regulations.

The official said that Hong Kong will consider whether to relax the restrictions on Fukushima food while closely watching the pace of recovery in food imports from four nearby prefectures —Ibaraki, Tochigi, Gunma and Chiba — according to Uchibori. Hong Kong eased its restrictions on food from the four prefectures last year.

At a seminar for Hong Kong journalists on Friday, Uchibori stressed that he will redouble efforts to ease concerns over Fukushima food as much as possible, noting that more than 80 percent of all exports of Fukushima-made agricultural, forestry and fishery products had been shipped to Hong Kong before the disasters.