Philippines lifts ban on Fukushima fish imports

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippines lifted the import ban on a number of fish species coming from Japan's Fukushima prefecture after 7 years, according to Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol.

In a Facebook post on Wednesday, May 29, Piñol said the order, which approves the proposal of the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR), serves as a "gesture of goodwill" between Japan and the Philippines.  

The Philippines imposed the ban on importing cherry salmon, sand lance, Japanese dace, and ayu or sweetfish in 2012, after the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant meltdown in 2011.

"I consider the ban, issued by the previous administration, as just a bureaucratic goobbledygook and an overreaction to an issue which did not really affect the Philippines," Piñol said.

In turn, the Department of Agriculture also hopes to improve the market access of the Philippines' agriculture exports to Japan by seeking lower tariffs for bananas and pineapples.

Piñol also said they are pushing for the entry of Hass avocado into Japan. (READ: DTI expects $5 billion in signed deals from Duterte's Japan trip)

The lifting of the ban coincided with President Rodrigo Duterte's visit to Japan for Nikkei's 25th International Conference on the Future of Asia, where he has brought along 200 other delegates. (READ: Duterte promises Japanese businessmen he'll 'kill' their problems– Rappler.com