The European Union will ease its restrictions on Japanese food imports imposed following the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster, possibly by the end of this year, government officials said Saturday.
Specifically, the European Union is planning to remove its import restrictions on fishery products from Iwate and Miyagi prefectures, no longer requiring radiation inspection certificates for them, the officials said.
European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker informed Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of the plan when they held talks in Brussels on Sept. 27, according to the Japanese officials.
Japan has been trying to persuade the 28-member bloc and countries including China, South Korea and the United States that have continued to restrict imports of food products from Fukushima and adjacent prefectures that they have been scientifically proven to be safe.
The European Union already lifted a ban on rice produced in Fukushima Prefecture in 2017.
As of September, 22 countries and regions had not removed import restrictions on some Japanese agricultural and fishery products imposed in the wake of the disaster at the Fukushima Daiichi plant, triggered by a massive earthquake and tsunami on March 11, 2011, according to Japan's farm ministry.
But the number was down from 54 countries and regions after the disaster.