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G7 calls for end to Japanese seafood ban

Trade ministers attend the closing session of the G7 trade ministers' meeting in Osaka, Osaka Prefecture on Sunday. Photo by JIJI PRESS/EPA-EFE
Trade ministers attend the closing session of the G7 trade ministers' meeting in Osaka, Osaka Prefecture on Sunday. Photo by JIJI PRESS/EPA-EFE

Oct. 30 (UPI) -- Trade ministers from the countries that make up the G7 on Sunday called for an end to Japanese seafood bans that started when the country started releasing treated radioactive water from the inoperable Fukushima nuclear power plant.

China and Russia are the largest countries that are participating in the boycott of Japanese seafood imports, citing a concern about contamination of seafood from waters around Japan because of the release of the treated water.

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The comments came after the trade ministers took part in a two-day meeting in Osaka, Japan.

"[G-7 members] strongly call for the immediate repeal of any ... measures that unnecessarily restrict trade, including the newly introduced import restrictions on Japanese food products," the trade minister said in a joint statement.

Japanese Foreign Minister Yoko Kamikawa said "a calm response based on scientific grounds is needed" in regard to China's import ban. Kamikawa co-chaired the meeting.

On Friday, a team from the International Atomic Energy Agency visiting the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant concluded an onsite safety inspection of the release of treated water from the plant into the ocean.

The group of experts from the U.N. nuclear body said it would compile a report by the end of the year to deliver its findings on the four-day inspection of the plant and methods used by Japanese officials this week.

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The trade ministers also committed to stronger cooperation to build a more reliable supply chain for critical goods in light of China's recent announcement placing "export controls" on its graphite, which is used for batteries, fuel cells and nuclear reactors.

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