Japan govt. drafts plan to help fishery industry cope with China's import ban

Japan's government has drafted an emergency plan to support the country's fishing industry in the wake of China's import suspension on Japanese seafood.

China announced the ban last week after the start of Japan's release of treated and diluted water from the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant into the ocean.

As a key action in the draft, the government is to help find new importers of items whose exports to China have plummeted, such as scallops.

The government is also to work to improve Japan's seafood processing capabilities so more of the country's products can be exported directly.

The draft includes measures for the government to promote plans to have fishery organizations and others temporarily buy up products and store them in freezers.

It also says the government will launch a national movement to increase domestic consumption and work to spread science-based information with high transparency.

The government has already set up a fund worth about 80 billion yen, or 546 million dollars, to deal with reputational damage caused by rumors associated with the water release. Officials are working to spend tens of billions of yen more for the support.

Prime Minister Kishida Fumio and his Cabinet ministers are to hold discussions as early as Thursday with the aim of deciding on the plan soon.