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Japan: Italy bans Japanese food imports

last update: March 16, 14:50

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Rome, 16 March (AKI) - Italy has banned Japanese food imports because of fear of contamination by the worst nuclear disaster in 25 years, according to Italian health minister Ferruccio Fazio.

Fazio made the announcement during a television chat show late Tuesday. His comments have been confirmed by the Health Ministry in Rome, according to news agency dpa.

Fazio said the ban affects imports from 11 March and affects mostly fish and vegetables, which he claims is marginal.

"It is not a big problem because the (food) products (imported from Japan) are few and Japanese restaurants (in Italy) use local fish," Fazio said, according to dpa.

Friday's 8.9 magnitude earthquake in Japan damaged the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant in northeastern part of the country, causing explosions and fires and raising the possibility of meltdowns of its several of its reactors. It was the worst accident at a nuclear power plant since the 1986 disaster in Chernobyl.


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