Kishida orders emergency package for fishery industry hit by China's import ban

Japan's prime minister has ordered his Cabinet ministers to urgently work out detailed measures aimed at helping fishery businesses hit by China's suspension of Japanese seafood imports.

Kishida Fumio explained to reporters about the outline of the emergency package on Thursday. That is in response to China's blanket import ban of Japanese seafood after Tokyo Electric Power Company started releasing treated and diluted water from the Fukushima Daiichi power plant into the Pacific Ocean.

Kishida said some of the measures will be to find new overseas buyers other than China for items such as scallop. The export of scallop and some other items largely depend on China.

The government will also help the industry in processing, so that businesses can export seafood items directly.

Kishida said that the government will also help in expanding domestic sales and developing new markets.

He said he has instructed the Cabinet ministers concerned to work out the details of the package by early next week.

Kishida stressed it is very important that the measures be implemented as soon as possible by securing government funds, including reserves if necessary.

He added that the government will do all it can to protect Japan's fishery industry, gaining support from the public.

As for dialogue with China to persuade the country to lift its import ban, Kishida said Japanese government departments have contacted their Chinese counterparts and presented them with specific dates for holding possible talks. Kishida expressed his hope that China will respond as soon as possible.