It’s been less than a month since the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant released treated water into the ocean, and the Chinese government may have overdone the fearmongering as the domestic fisheries industry has reported massive losses since the news broke.
The state media in China has been reporting on Japan’s “nuclear-contaminated water” daily, leading people to refrain from buying Japanese products. On the other hand, the fearmongering by the state media has inadvertently led to a drop in demand for seafood and other products, directly hitting Chinese markets.
The Chinese government has pressured Japan about the treated water and banned Japanese seafood and aquatic products. Since the ban, the value of Japanese seafood imports in August was down 70% compared to last year, a steeper decline than the 33% drop in July.
However, the impact of the Chinese government’s fearmongering appears to have gone beyond expectations. In addition to the boycott of Japanese products, there was an incident where stones were thrown at a Japanese school. The Chinese were also the hoarding of salt by the masses.
The Beijing Seafood Market was reportedly quiet on September 22nd, with only a few people around. “We don’t sell Japanese products, but sales have decreased by 80%,” said one store owner.
Chinese media has reported an “increasing uncertainty” surrounding the livelihoods of fishermen. News on Japan’s treated water has considerably decreased since September after fisheries industry officials voiced their frustration about the government “making too much noise.”
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