Switzerland plans to lift on Aug. 15 import restrictions it has been imposing on food products from parts of Japan after the 2011 Fukushima nuclear power plant disaster, the Fukushima prefectural government said Tuesday.
Switzerland will follow in the footsteps of the European Union, which will remove the remaining controls requiring radiation tests on some agricultural and fishery products from 10 prefectures, including Fukushima, on Thursday. Switzerland is not an EU member.
Swiss Ambassador to Japan Andreas Baum told Fukushima Gov. Masao Uchibori about the decision to remove the restrictions when they met at the Swiss embassy in Tokyo on Monday, according to the prefectural government.
With the EU and Switzerland dropping the measures, the number of countries and regions imposing import restrictions on Japanese food products will be 10.
In Asia, China, South Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau maintain import restrictions on Japanese food products. China and Hong Kong have intensified radiation inspections of seafood imports from Japan ahead of a planned release of treated radioactive water from the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant into the sea.
The water, processed through an advanced liquid processing system that removes radionuclides other than tritium, will be diluted to one-fortieth of the concentration permitted under Japanese safety standards before being released via an underwater tunnel 1 kilometer off the power plant around the summer.
At one point, a total of 55 economies had placed restrictions on Japanese food imports due to fears of radiation contamination after the Fukushima disaster.
The United States, Israel and Singapore lifted all of their post-Fukushima import restrictions on Japanese food products in 2021, while Britain and Indonesia lifted their measures in 2022.