TOKYO: The Japanese government is considering spending an additional 20 billion yen to support the fishery industry following China’s blanket ban on imports of Japanese fishery products, it was learned Saturday.
In order to reduce Japan’s heavy reliance on China as an export destination of scallops and other products, the government will dip into its reserve fund to support efforts to find new overseas sales channels and strengthen domestic processing systems.
The fresh aid will be announced as early as Monday.
Specifically, the government will subsidize the introduction of shelling machines at factories in Japan so that scallops can be directly exported without going through China, a processing center for the produce from Japan.
Also planned are measures to buy and temporarily store scallops and other fishery products that affect Japanese exports significantly.
The government will support expansion of sales channels of fishery products using online shopping websites and ask the Japan External Trade Organization, or JETRO, to introduce potential overseas business partners to fishery industry businesses.
The 20 billion yen would add to the 80-billion-yen fund already set up by the government to aid fishery operators and tackle reputational damage.
Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc. started releasing tritium-containing treated water into the ocean from its meltdown-stricken Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant in northeastern Japan on Aug. 24. In response, China launched the blanket import ban on Japanese fishery products.
On Thursday, Prime Minister Fumio Kishida instructed industry minister Yasutoshi Nishimura and agriculture minister Tetsuro Nomura to draw up a policy package to help the country’s fishery industry as soon as possible.