China’s decision to prohibit Japanese aqua products – in the wake of the controversial discharge of Fukushima nuclear waste water on Thursday could go awry, say analysts and point to possible impacts on China’s industry.

The change will make the two countries more uncertain about their already declining bilateral trade, they claim, since it demonstrates how they could be less dependent on one another, even though aquaculture isn’t of high significance in China-Japan trade.

The Japanese decision to discharge nuclear waste at the Fukushima nuclear plant into the Pacific Ocean angered Beijing, which led to the immediate blocking of all Japanese seafood.

“Clearly, Beijing is making its displeasure quite visible through this ban even though the impact on Japan isn’t known or understood at the moment. A portion of the reaction from China may be related to the fact that they have a history of suspicion towards Japan,” said Chong Jia Ian, Associate Professor of Political Sciences at The National University of Singapore.

He also pointed out that Beijing did not appear to be able to accept that the release of wastewater was confirmed through the International Atomic Energy Agency.


“The trade relationship – especially trade in goods – remains important, but Japan is diversifying away from the Chinese market for commercial and risk-management reasons, even as China focuses more on domestic production and consumption,” he stated. “Both China and Japan may be less key for each other over time.”

But China’s ban on imports of seafood isn’t viewed as an extremely significant measure against Japan.

“At present, I am not sure that aquaculture features that prominently in Sino-Japan trade,” Chong declared. “If Beijing were serious about its opposing position and wanted to send a more expensive signal by limiting or limiting the importation of machinery or circuits as well as cars from Japan. That could hurt Japan more and result in higher costs to the Chinese economy and its consumers.

Japan releases treated nuclear wastewater from the Fukushima nuclear plant.

Despite being the biggest source of Japanese fish, China sources most aquatic products from Ecuador and is then Russia, Vietnam, and India, according to Chinese government statistics.

The total value of commerce that occurs between China and Japan decreased by 3.7 percent to US$357.4 billion in the last year, as per statistics from the customs department. The value for January-July dropped 12 percent from a year ago, up to US$183.3 billion.

Japan is China’s fifth largest trade partner, yet it is only a small percentage of the total imports of seafood in light of its enormous demand.

Chinese Industry insiders are worried that the release of wastewater and the ban does not indicate a good future for seafood consumption.

The public’s willingness to consume aquatic goods could be affected.

BRIC Agricultural Information Technology report


Although China hasn’t taken any actionsChina hasn’t taken any actions to evaluate whether the water from the wastewater has been declared suitable “from a scientific point of view,” The decision could be a blow to the consumption of seafood in general, according to one of the staff members from the China Aquatic Products Processing and Marketing Alliance who did not want to reveal his name because of the sensitive nature of the issue.

“It is certain that it will affect the aquaculture and fishery industries. A few domestic businesses could also be affected,” he said. “According to the information I’ve received … most people aren’t going to eat fish at a minimum in the short-term. This is a risky indication for the industry this kind of mindset were to spread across the country.”

BRIC Agricultural Information Technology, an advisory firm with its headquarters in Suzhou, located west of Shanghai, forecasted a wide-ranging impact on China’s fishing and aquaculture industries in a research note on Thursday.