US lifts import ban on Japanese foods

The United States has lifted import restrictions it placed on some Japanese food products following the 2011 nuclear power plant accident in Fukushima.

The US Food and Drug Administration said Tuesday that it is deactivating an import alert covering 100 food items from Fukushima and 13 other prefectures.

The US is the third largest importer of Japanese foods, including farm and fisheries products. The total value of such imports from Japan topped 1 billion dollars last year.

With the ban lifted, Japan can now ship products such as rice from Fukushima, and shiitake mushrooms from neighboring Tochigi and Ibaraki prefectures.
Meanwhile, the European Union has announced plans to ease some of its import restrictions on Japanese food items from October.

However, 14 countries and territories, such as China, South Korea, and Taiwan are continuing to block some Japanese food products.

Japan's Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries says the US move is likely to influence the decisions of their governments on whether to resume imports.