The United States lifted all its restrictions on food imports from Japan, which were imposed as a result of the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster, the Japanese Ministry of Agriculture said on Wednesday.
Under the restrictions, US imports of a total of 100 agricultural products produced in 14 Japanese prefectures, including Fukushima, were suspended.
The other 13 prefectures were Aomori, Iwate, Miyagi, Yamagata, Ibaraki, Tochigi, Gunma, Saitama, Chiba, Niigata, Yamanashi, Nagano and Shizuoka.
The European Union also plans to ease import restrictions on Japanese agricultural and food products by October 10, the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries said on Tuesday.
“The removal of import restrictions from the US will have a major impact on other countries and regions,” a ministry official said.
According to the ministry, the United States is the third largest importer of Japanese agricultural and food products after Hong Kong and China.
Japan’s exports of agricultural products and food to the United States in 2020 were 118.8 billion yen ($ 1.09 billion).
Following the lifting of import restrictions by the United States on Tuesday local time, the number of countries and regions imposing such measures on Japanese agricultural and food products has fallen to 14.
Following the collapse of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant following a large-scale tsunami caused by a 9.0-magnitude earthquake on 11 March 2011, 55 countries and regions have imposed restrictions on imports of Japanese agricultural and food products.
The Ministry of Agriculture plans to call on 14 countries and regions, including Hong Kong and China, to lift such restrictions.
Despite the latest US measures, some food products subject to Japan’s own export restrictions cannot be shipped overseas.