Russia wants to replace Japanese seafood in China

Kamchatka Region is in talks with Chinese companies on future supplies, its governor says

Russia’s Kamchatka Region in the Far East is seeking to fill the void in China’s seafood market after Japanese imports were recently banned, regional governor Vladimir Solodov told TASS news agency this week.

China had long been Japan’s largest seafood customer, with imports of marine products reaching almost half a billion dollars last year. However, in late August, Beijing imposed a ban on imports of all seafood from Japan in response to Tokyo’s discharge of treated radioactive wastewater from the stricken Fukushima nuclear power plant into the ocean.

Beijing has strongly opposed the decision, claiming the water is “nuclear-contaminated” and describing Tokyo’s move as “extremely selfish and irresponsible.”

Russia exported roughly one million tons of seafood to China in 2022, according to official estimates, and is looking to boost supplies, particularly from its resource-rich Kamchatka Region.

“There are now very good vacant niches left after the departure of Japanese suppliers from the Chinese market due to environmental considerations, and we will try to occupy them in terms of seafood and other positions,” Solodov said on the sidelines of the Chinese international seafood exhibition.

READ MORE: China’s imports of Japanese seafood plunge

Kamchatka’s governor referenced “huge” interest expressed by Chinese seafood producers and large companies from the fishing industry in Russian marine products, claiming the region is now in talks with its neighbor on future supplies.

According to the official, Russia and China could soon sign long-term contracts on deliveries of seafood from Kamchatka. The sides are now working out solutions for fast and efficient logistics and transportation and Chinese companies are also willing to supply Russian fish processing plants with necessary equipment and cooperate in ship repair, Solodov added.

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