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EU To Lift Ban Of Food Imports From Japan Post 2011 Nuclear Accident
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EU To Lift Ban Of Food Imports From Japan Post 2011 Nuclear Accident

Japan would welcome the European Union's lifting of restrictions on food imports imposed after a 2011 nuclear accident triggered by a major earthquake and tsunami, a government spokesperson said on Friday.

The Nikkei newspaper reported earlier on Friday that the EU was in the final stages of lifting all restrictions on Japanese food. It did not identify its sources.

The bans have been in place since the earthquake and tsunami wrecked the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant on Japan's east coast north of Tokyo, triggering multiple meltdowns.

"We understand that there are some positive moves towards lifting restrictions, which we as the Japanese government welcome," spokesman Mr Hirokazu Matsuno told a daily news conference in Tokyo.

He said he hoped the easing of restrictions would help with the reconstruction of areas that were devastated in the nuclear disaster.

The 2011 earthquake and tsunami killed nearly 20,000 people on a stretch of Japan's Pacific coast. The meltdowns at the nuclear plant forced the evacuation of tens of thousands of residents.

The report on the lifting of restrictions comes a week before International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) chief Rafael Mariano Grossi is due to visit Japan to present his agency's findings on the safety of a Japanese plan to release water from the Fukushima nuclear power plant into the ocean.

Japan plans to release 1.3 million metric tons of water that has been exposed to radiation inside the destroyed power plant, after removing most of its radioactive elements.

The water to be released, which has been mainly used to cool damaged reactors, will have traces of tritium, an isotope that is hard to remove from water.

The IAEA has been conducting a safety review of the plan since 2021. It said it would inaugurate an office in the Fukushima plant during Mr Grossi's visit.

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