SEOUL Kyodo will keep a ban on Japanese seafood from areas affected by the 2011 Fukushima nuclear crisis, a minister said Wednesday, denying any plan to lift it in order to secure Tokyo's support to join a regional free trade accord.
We have taken a resolute position on the issue. We'ren't considering allowing imports of Japan's Fukushima seafood as a tactic to get backing for our bid to join the Trans-Pacific Partnership, according to Yonhap News Agency.
Japan is one of the leading members of the 11 nation TPP, which includes Australia, Singapore and Mexico. South Korea is working on domestic procedures to submit an application, Yonhap said.
Both China and Taiwan are interested in joining the TPP.
In February, Taiwan lifted an import ban on food products from Fukushima and some other Japanese prefectures imposed in the wake of the Fukushima disaster.
Amid radiation concerns, South Korea has banned Japanese seafood imports from eight prefectures, including Fukushima.