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Japanese diplomat criticises import checks

The Japanese ambassador to Bern has said Swiss checks on food imports from his country are “unnecessary”.

As of Thursday, goods from Japan have only been allowed into Switzerland together with a certificate proving they were not exposed to radioactivity. Tests are also being carried out on some imports. Similar measures have been taken by the European Union.

Radiation has been leaking from Japan's Fukushima nuclear power plant ever since it was damaged by the recent earthquake and resulting tsunami in March.

Ambassador Ichiro Komatsu told the Sonntag newspaper the Swiss had “overreacted” in taking such measures and in cancelling flights to Japan after the earthquake and tsunami.

He noted that the bodies like the World Food Organization had said the nuclear crisis posed no immediate danger to people’s health. Precautionary measures should be taken but there was no need to overreact based on “unconfirmed rumours”, he said.

He also expressed thanks for the “immense support and solidarity” that the Swiss people and government had shown towards Japan. “We receive numerous letters of support. We will never forget the friendship shown by the Swiss,” he noted. and agencies


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