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Russia is contemplating the prospect of aligning with China in restricting the import of Japanese seafood. This decision comes in the wake of Japan's release of treated radioactive water from

the damaged Fukushima nuclear power plant into the sea. Russian food safety regulator Rosselkhoznadzor revealed its intention to engage in discussions with Japan concerning this matter.

Japan initiated the discharge of water from the Fukushima plant into the ocean last month, an action that drew harsh criticism from China. In response, China implemented a comprehensive ban on all aquatic imports from Japan.

Rosselkhoznadzor disclosed on Tuesday that it had conferred with its Chinese counterparts regarding Japanese food exports. Russia, a major supplier of marine products to China, is looking to expand its market share.

In a statement, Rosselkhoznadzor declared, "Taking into account the possible risks of radiation contamination of products, Rosselkhoznadzor is considering the possibility of joining with Chinese restrictions on supplies of fish products from Japan. The final decision will be made after negotiations with the Japanese side."

Thus far this year, Russia has imported 118 tonnes of Japanese seafood, according to the regulator.

Rosselkhoznadzor has communicated with Japan, emphasizing the necessity of holding talks and requesting information on Japan's radiological testing of exported fish products by October 16, particularly concerning tritium.

Japan asserts that the released water is safe, having undergone treatment to remove most radioactive elements except tritium, which is challenging to separate from water. The water is then diluted to internationally accepted levels before being discharged. Japan maintains that criticism from Russia and China lacks scientific support.

In its most recent water testing report on Monday, Japan's Ministry of Environment indicated that the tritium concentrations in seawater, sampled on September 19, were below the lower limit of detection at all 11 sampling points. This finding suggests no adverse impact on human health or the environment.

Rosselkhoznadzor's far eastern branch reported that Russia had also identified no abnormalities in marine samples used for tests in Russian regions relatively close to the area where the treated water was released.

Last year, Russia exported 2.3 million metric tons of marine products valued at approximately $6.1 billion, representing about half of its total catch. China, South Korea, and Japan were the largest importers, according to Russia's fisheries agency. Photo by IAEA Imagebank, Wikimedia commons.