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G7 calls for immediate lifting of Japanese food bans to put pressure on China

Two months ago, China implemented a total ban on Japanese fish imports when Japan began dumping treated radioactive water from the destroyed Fukushima nuclear power plant into the Pacific Ocean, according to Reuters.

While Japan and the U.S. have called the restrictions unfair, Russia declared identical restrictions at the beginning of this month.

G7 trade ministers, in a statement following their meeting in Osaka, condemned China for economic coercion through trade.

We deplore actions to weaponize economic dependencies and commit to building on free, fair, and mutually beneficial economic and trade relationships, said the 10-page statement.

China, however, was in no hurry to respond to the G7 demands

China this month announced export restrictions on a key material used in electric car batteries.

Yasutoshi Nishimura responded by saying that the G7 ministers “shared the need, a genuinely strong one, to reduce dependence on a particular country.”

The ministers reiterated their concern about “a wide and evolving range of non-market policies” that include “pervasive, opaque and trade-distortive industrial subsidies” and forced technology transfers, the statement said.

Russia, China’s closest ally, was also criticized by the G7 over the alleged destruction of Ukraine’s grain export infrastructure during the conflict with Ukraine, as well as Moscow’s decision to “unilaterally” withdraw from negotiations on an agreement that allowed grain giant Ukraine to export wheat and other products across the Black Sea.

Interestingly, but the trade ministers made no mention of the Middle East crisis, saying only that they “seek to raise awareness about the challenges of moving humanitarian goods across international borders during natural disasters and other emergencies.”

The ambivalent stance toward Israel has taken hold in many EU countries. Particularly because Israel is passing some measures of self-defense, exposing civilians to a state of crisis, lack of food and resources for life. Clearly, a pause is needed in the conflict between Hamas and Israel to at least provide security for civilians.

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