Response to Japan’s announcement of launch of discharge of Fukushima nuclear-contaminated water into the ocean


Japan announced that discharge of Fukushima nuclear-contaminated water will be launched in the next few days. The Macao Special Administrative Region (SAR) Government strongly deplores this. To safeguard the food safety and public health in Macao, the Macao SAR Government will adopt necessary measures to ban the import of live and fresh food products, food products of animal origin, sea salt and seaweed, including vegetables, fruits, milk and milk products, aquatic products and their derivatives, meat and meat products, poultry eggs, etc., from a total of 10 prefectures and regions, namely Fukushima Prefecture, Chiba Prefecture, Tochigi Prefecture, Ibaraki Prefecture, Gunma Prefecture, Miyagi Prefecture, Niigata Prefecture, Nagano Prefecture, Saitama Prefecture and Tokyo Metropolis, from 24 August 2023.
Japan’s decision to discharge the nuclear-contaminated water into the ocean without ample consultation with its neighbouring countries is extremely irresponsible. The Macao SAR Government is highly concerned about this issue. The Municipal Affairs Bureau (IAM) has maintained close contact with the General Administration of Customs and Gongbei Customs District of the People’s Republic of China and established a notification mechanism with the Centre of Food Safety of Hong Kong.
Since the beginning of this year, IAM has reinforced surveillance of radioactive substances in imported Japanese food on both import and retail levels. Testing for specific radionuclides has been added as a routine food safety test item. Staff have been sent to ports like the international airport and Inner Harbour to carry out inspections with radiation measuring instruments on every box of products in every batch. From 1 January to 21 August this year, IAM carried out radiation testing on 23,137 samples of imported Japanese food and collected about 160 samples for radionuclide testing. No abnormalities were observed.
IAM will also reinforce inspections of retail stores in the city. Tests conducted with handheld radiation measuring instruments are carried out mainly on non-staple food products, such as pre-packaged food products like rice, seaweed, tea leaves and snacks, etc. imported from other regions in Japan that are not subject to tests and inspections. Food samples will also be taken for testing for radionuclides. To increase the transparency of information and strengthen education of popular science, IAM will launch a dedicated food safety webpage on nuclear testing tomorrow. In addition to the daily announcement of radiation testing data, popular science is also promoted to the public through infographics, posts, short videos, etc.