Korea's imports of Japanese fishery goods on rise

South Korea’s imports of Japanese fishery products increased on-year in 2015, data showed Sunday, marking the first rise since the 2011 Fukushima nuclear accident sparked contamination concerns.

According to the data compiled by the Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries, the country’s imports of Japanese fishery products came to 38,724 tons, up 17.9 percent from a year earlier. After posting 84,018 tons in 2011, the figure dropped to a low of 32,844 tons in 2014.

A devastating earthquake off the east coast of Japan and a subsequent tsunami in 2011 led to the meltdown of nuclear reactors there, causing South Korean consumers to evade Japanese-produced goods, especially fishery products.

By products, scallops stood as the top product, at 6,637 tons last year, followed by pollocks at 3,913 tons and sardines at 3,288 tons.

The South Korean government currently sends back unsafe Japanese fishery goods after screening them for cesium and iodine.

Despite the increased exports, industry watchers said the public’s anxiety over Japanese fishery goods still exists. In 2015, local authorities busted 70 stores that deceived consumers of the origin of Japanese fishery products.


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