Russia is restricting Japanese seafood imports as a "precautionary measure" in the wake of the release of treated radioactive water from the crippled Fukushima nuclear power plant, Russian authorities said Monday, triggering a strong objection from Tokyo.
The Russian Federal Service for Veterinary and Phytosanitary Surveillance, in a statement, said Russia has joined China's temporary restrictive measures regarding the import of fish and other seafood from Japan.
On the same day, the Japanese Foreign Ministry said it "strongly demands" that Russia withdraw the restriction, calling the decision "extremely regretful" as it lacks scientific grounds.
The Russian government said the measures went into effect Monday and will remain in place until it can verify that the seafood meets Russian safety standards and those of the Eurasian Economic Union, a grouping of post-Soviet states.
The executive body under Russia's Agriculture Ministry announced in September that it was considering implementing the same restrictions as China over concerns regarding the potential radioactive contamination of Japanese seafood.
The Japanese government held a videoconference with the body, also known as Rosselkhoznadzor, earlier this month to explain its methods for safety inspection and testing for radioactive substances including tritium.
The water discharge from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, damaged in 2011 by a massive earthquake and tsunami, began in late August, following the International Atomic Energy Agency's determination in July that the plan adhered to global safety standards.
China imposed a blanket ban on Japanese seafood imports after the first round began.
The second round of water discharge began in early October despite persistent concerns from some countries, including China, and local fishermen.
As of Sept. 22, Japan has exported a total of 118 tons of seafood to Russia this year, according to Russian authorities.