As Russian customs continue to inspect imports coming from Japan for radiation, officials say they have seized roughly 300 contaminated cars at entry points like the city of Vladivostok. The effort is ongoing, even close to a year and a half since the Fukushima nuclear disaster in March 2011. Gennady Onishchenko, the leader of Russia’s consumer rights organization, says that close to 150,000 vehicles have been inspected, with 300 attempted to be smuggled in testing positive for radioactivity.
After radioactive material was released by the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant as a result of damage from the March 11th tsunami, the government of Russia, and many other nations as well, began enacting strict limitations, or in some cases outright bans, on imported goods from Japan. Russia wasn’t one of the countries the flat-out denied Japanese products, but they did begin heavily monitoring everything from food to automobiles for any signs of radioactive contamination. Since beginning inspections, Russian customs officials say they have checked 500,000 shipments, 908 ships, 473 aircrafts, and over 42,000 people who have come from Japan to enter Russia.
However, what wasn’t mentioned was who the contaminated cars were being ordered from. They could be coming from Japanese car manufacturers who didn’t check them or ignored the warning signs, or they could have been bought on the cheap by someone, Japanese or not, who hoped to sneak them into another country and unload them for a profit.
A little over a week ago, Japan’s vice-minister for foreign affairs was at the summit for the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in Cambodia. There he requested that the other nations present relax, or at least review, their limitations on the imports of Japan’s agricultural products, saying that there had been numerous scientific tests completed that show its items are contaminated with radiation. Later this summer, Russia’s consumer rights organization says it will conduct its own scientific research with the Russian Geographical Society to evaluate the safety of fish caught off of Japan’s coasts.
Comments Off on JDP Startup Corner: Pros & Cons of Working with a Partner in Japan