While Japanese imports are surging on the back of an ever-depreciating currency and ever-appreciating cost of energy, it would appear the enterprising Easterners have come up with a solution to two problems - exports and radiation. As RT reports, more than 130 "contaminated" used cars from Japan were denied access to Russia last year. The consumer watchdog agency Rospotrebnadzor is also closely monitoring deliveries of fish.
A customs officer holds up a device used for measuring radiation levels, while standing in front of vehicles delivered from Japan, in Russia's far eastern city of Vladivostok.
Strict control of all cargo, arriving from Japan, will continue in 2014 as well, Rospotrebnadzor said on its website.
“In 2013, Russia has banned 165 batches of contaminated goods from entering the country. There were mainly used cars – 132, and spare parts for vehicles – 33,” the statement said.
Deliveries of fish coming from Japan and those caught in the Pacific Ocean are also being monitored, the agency said.
“Particular attention is paid to this issue in Russia’s Far East, where radiation control of fish is being wieldy implemented, including the distribution chain,” Rospotrebnadzor said.
The supply of Japanese fish to Russia is currently allowed only under a special declaration that confirms the presence of radioactive substances in the products is within safety standards established by the Customs Union of Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan.
It seems the world is also losing interest in one of Japan's other major exports - Blue-Fin Tuna (as prices have dropped 95% from last year!)
Sushi restaurateur Kiyoshi Kimura paid 7.36m yen (£43,000) for a 230kg (507lb) bluefin tuna in the year's celebratory first auction at Tokyo's Tsukiji market on Sunday – just 5% of what he paid a year earlier despite signs that the species is in serious decline.
There were 1,729 tuna sold in Sunday's first auction for 2014, according to the city government, down from 2,419 last year. The 32,000 yen ($305) per kilogram paid for the top fish this year compares with 700,000 yen per kilogram last year.