彩神viiHong Kong mulls relaxing post
HONG KONG, June 6 (Xinhua) -- The government of China's Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) has proposed relaxing food imports from some of the Japanese perfectures affected by the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster.
In the wake of the Fukushima nuclear power plant meltdown, the Center for Food Safety (CFS) of the HKSAR government's Food and Environmental Hygiene Department imposed import restrictions on vegetables, fruits and diary products from five Japanese perfectures - Fukushima and nearby Ibaraki, Tochigi, Chiba and Gunma.
In a proposal submitted to Hong Kong's Legislative Council (LegCo) on Tuesday, the CFS suggested relaxing restrictions on food imports from the four nearby perfectures as long as the goods that pass radiation tests and are granted export certificates from the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries of Japan.
However, it suggested maintaining the ban on food imports from Fukushima perfecture.
The proposal is expected to be discussed by the LegCo next week.
The HKSAR government's Secretary for Food and Health Sophia Chan said Tuesday that the proposal was based on assessments by local authorities, international organizations, as well as some other economies.
"We think at this stage there has been substantial and adequate scientific evidence that the radiation risk of Japanese food is low," Chan said in a blog, adding that the proposal was also "with a view to addressing the concerns of the public."
Hong Kong has for years been the top market for Japanese food. According to Chan, in recent few years the annual volume of imported Japanese food has surpassed that before the 2011 Fukushima nuclear incident, which "reflects a recovery of Hong Kong people's confidence in Japanese food."
After the food imports resume, according to Chan, Hong Kong plans to implement "double gatekeeping" measures to ensure food safety, which include radiation tests by both the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries of Japan and the CFS of the HKSAR.