S'pore keeps import curbs on food from Fukushima

TOKYO • Singapore is keeping in place curbs on food imports from Fukushima, which six years ago yesterday was hit by an earthquake, tsunami and nuclear disaster, the Agri- Food and Veterinary Authority of Singapore (AVA) has told The Sunday Times.

This is despite the authority having announced a review on easing curbs in January last year and Japan's repeated insistence that its strict food safety standards already exceed international requirements.

The AVA did not say why it is retaining the curbs, but a spokesman told The Sunday Times that it "periodically reviews food import conditions to ensure food safety for our consumers, without unnecessarily impeding trade".

Last year's review came as Agriculture Minister Hiroshi Moriyama asked Singapore to ease its restrictions in a meeting with National Development Minister Lawrence Wong. The AVA banned the import of some food products from 11 prefectures after the incident, but some restrictions were lifted in 2014, after "an inspection and comprehensive risk assessment of food from Japan".

However, curbs on seafood and other produce from several areas remain in place.

Walter Sim

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on March 12, 2017, with the headline 'S'pore keeps import curbs on food from Fukushima'. Print Edition | Subscribe