JP Japanese apples

Japan and China have agreed to start regular minister-level talks regarding food safety in a bid to ease Chinese import restrictions on certain Japanese produce, reports the Japan Times.

The agreement was reached on Friday (9 November) at a meeting in Beijing between visiting Japanese agriculture minister Takamori Yoshikawa and Ni Yuefeng, minister of China’s General Administration of Customs, which manages food imports and exports.

Yoshikawa asked for China to remove its import ban on foods made in Fukushima and nine other prefectures introduced in response to the triple core meltdown at the Fukushima No. 1 power station in Fukushima Prefecture in 2011. The defunct plant is managed by Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc.

China also bans imports of agricultural, forestry and fisheries products from the prefectures of Miyagi, Ibaraki, Tochigi, Gunma, Saitama, Chiba, Tokyo, Niigata and Nagano.

Last month, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang told Prime Minister Shinzo Abe that Beijing will consider easing the restriction.

Yoshikawa failed to elicit a clear promise to remove the ban at the day’s meeting with Ni, the report said.