US Military Procures Japanese Seafood in Response to China's Import Ban

US Military Procures Japanese Seafood in Response to China's Import Ban

Washington -T he U.S. military is engaging in large-scale procurement of Japanese seafood to counter China's import embargo on these products, which was implemented following Japan's decision to discharge treated radioactive water from the Fukushima nuclear power plant in August.

Significance: This new initiative is aimed at mitigating the impact of China's import ban, which is a part of its economic strategies. According to Rahm Emanuel, the U.S. ambassador to Japan, who discussed this in an interview with Reuters, "The most effective way to combat China's economic coercion has consistently been to extend assistance and support to the affected country or industry."

The launch of this initiative signifies the commencement of a "long-term contract" between the U.S. armed forces and local fisheries and cooperatives in Japan, as stated by Emanuel.

Opposing Perspective: Beijing expressed discontent with Emanuel's statements, as reported by Reuters. Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin remarked, "Diplomats should aim to foster friendly relations between nations rather than tarnishing the image of other countries and causing unrest."

Context: In August, Japan initiated the release of over one million metric tons of treated radioactive water from the Fukushima nuclear facility into the ocean. Japan's plan to release this treated water into the Pacific Ocean was announced in 2021, a decade after a massive earthquake and tsunami triggered the plant's devastation and a subsequent nuclear crisis. The International Atomic Energy Agency has endorsed the safety of this plan, which is considered a significant step towards the decommissioning of the Fukushima plant.

However, this decision was met with protests and opposition. China, formerly the largest importer of Japanese seafood, responded by imposing an import ban.

Details: The U.S. military's acquisition of Japanese seafood will serve to feed soldiers at military installations and will also be available for sale in stores and eateries on military bases, according to Emanuel. The initial purchase consisted of roughly one metric ton of scallops, a fraction of the 100,000 tons of scallops imported from Japan by China last year, as reported by Reuters. The procurement is set to expand gradually to encompass various types of seafood, as per Emanuel's statements to Reuters.

News Courtesy Reuters

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