People in Japan are turning to a tax-reduction plan to help the nation's fishing industry after China imposed a ban on seafood imports last month. The program known as furusato nozei allows people to donate to municipalities of their choice in return for a tax reduction and gifts.
China suspended all seafood imports from Japan in response to the release of treated and diluted water from the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. The move is a huge blow for people in the fishing industry.
Betsukai, a coastal town in the northern prefecture of Hokkaido, used social media to call for donations under the national tax program to alleviate the impact.
"We are concerned that a prolonged ban will lead to a drop in the value of the catch." Matsumoto Hiroshi, Betsukai Town official said. "I hope that if we can find a way to get people to consume scallops, it will support the price."
The daily value of furusato nozei donations has jumped as much as eight-fold compared to a year earlier since China announced the ban on August 24.
Many of the donors responding to the call chose scallops as gifts they will receive in recognition of their contributions.