China Bans Some Foods From Japan

In order to take precautions against possible radioactive contamination, China has banned certain foodstuffs from Japan:

China on Friday joined several other nations that have sought to limit potential radioactive contamination from Japan, by banning fish, vegetables and other food products from regions closest to the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant.

The measures were announced the same day Chinese officials said they had detected elevated radioactivity on a Japanese merchant vessel that had docked in southeast China. Farther up the coast, two Japanese tourists who arrived earlier in the week were said to have emitted “abnormally high” levels of radiation.

Officials did not specify the extent of contamination and said it posed no threat to the public, but the episodes highlighted China’s anxiety over the possible effects of Japan’s nuclear crisis. Last week, fears about spreading toxicity prompted a salt-buying panic among Chinese in the mistaken belief it might protect them from radiation poisoning.

The concerns are not China’s alone. In the two weeks since an earthquake and devastating tsunami hit the Fukushima plant, countries including the United States, Russia, Australia, Singapore and South Korea have banned specific Japanese products or announced heightened monitoring of imports that could have been contaminated by radioactive emissions from the stricken facility. Taiwan has also restricted imports.

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