INTERVIEW: Minister Vows to Fight Japanese Food Import Curbs


Tokyo, Sept. 7 (Jiji Press)--Japanese reconstruction minister Kenya Akiba has promised to directly urge some countries and regions to remove their import bans on Japanese food products that have been in place since the 2011 nuclear accident.

"It's important to persuade them with accumulated scientific evidence," Akiba said in a recent interview. "I will directly present such evidence to people responsible for the import restrictions and ask them to lift the measures."

He said that the government is at "an even more important phase" in dealing with negative rumors related to next spring's planned release of treated radioactive water into the ocean from Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc.'s <9501> Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant, the site of the accident.

Akiba unveiled a plan to establish a panel of experts to discuss measures to tackle such rumors, expressing hopes that specialists in social media will come up with ways to more effectively send information about the treated water.

TEPCO plans to release the water after diluting it to lower the concentration of tritium, a radioactive substance, to levels far below the country's safety standards.

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Jiji Press